USDA breaks down new potential funding for Georgia farmers

USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small met with South Georgia Farmers today on their new investments
USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small met with South Georgia Farmers today on their new investments
Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 6:13 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2023 at 7:42 PM EST
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DAWSON, Ga. (WALB) - The Biden Administration recently announced over $5 billion dollars in new investments as part of their ‘Investing in America’ agenda.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Xochitl Torres Small tells WALB that over a fifth of that funding is coming right here to Georgia.

“What that looks like here in Georgia is investments in farmers for energy efficiency, and solar renewable energy opportunities to help drive down energy costs and also support their production,” Torres Small said.

Fredando Jackson is the Executive Director of Flint River Fresh. He says with this partnership, they will be able to share their story more efficiently.

“Without that backing,” Jackson said. “Without that support base, I don’t know if we would have the foundation to be able to say to a church group, or community group, or anyone trying to help someone else that we can support them.”

Some of the grants specifically awarded to Georgia farmers are the R.E.A.P Grants, which stands for “Rural Energy For America Program.” Deputy Secretary Torres Small says this investment will help drive down input costs for farmers and help with overall productivity.

“If you’re a farmer and you’re struggling with energy costs,” Torres Small said. “But you know that a more efficient grain drier, for example, or a solar panel will help drive down those energy costs, you can work with USDA Rural Development to get funding through the Inflation Reduction Act to help maintain those costs.”

We did request a comment from Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper. He provided this statement:

“While we welcome any investment in Georgia’s rural communities, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the devastating impact Bidenomics has had on Georgia’s farm families. American producers need policy from D.C. that will empower our farmers to be more profitable, efficient, and sustainable while leveling the playing field with foreign competitors.”

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