Farm Bill Preserves REAP

The House and Senate have now passed the Farm Bill and sent it on to the President.

The bill continues the Energy Title which includes programs to help develop the vast potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency in agriculture. The bill maintains the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) at $50 million per year of mandatory funding.

Ann Mesnikoff, ELPC’s Federal Legislative Director said:
“The Conference Committee produced Farm Bill wisely preserved the REAP program. We thank the Members of Congress who supported the program that delivers benefits to all agricultural sectors and every state.”

Andy Olsen, ELPC Senior Policy Advocate said: “REAP has done much for many farmers and rural small businesses, as well as our environment. We welcome the continuation of the program and seek to increase funding to do even more for our country.”

Tips for Writing Letters to the Editor

Big Picture

  • Letters to the editor are one of the most-read sections of the papers. This is an effective strategy when we get the letters printed and very helpful.
  • Do not submit the same letter by different people, even to different papers.
  • Including a member of Congress’ name in the letter, respectfully, gets their attention.

Tips and guidelines

  • Stay general, don’t bring up wonky specifics about the program.
  • Focus on one important point (don’t try to address separate issues in one letter).
  • Respect word limits and stay well under them. (typically, 200 word max).
  • Try to tie the letter to something published in the paper recently or something local, if possible, to increase chances of being published.
  • Open and close with key message points.
  • Be sure to mention the key request to Congress. Maximize your chance of being published by removing every non-essential word. For example, don’t say, “I think…” It’s obvious. This also minimizes the chance of editors changing the letter.
  • Remove every non-essential word. For example, don’t say, “I think…” It’s obvious. This also reduces the chance of editors changing your letter.

Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Don’t exaggerate your case.
  • Avoid personal insults.
  • Avoid jargon, acronyms and technical language. (“Eschew obfuscation”)


REAP Receives Additional Funds and Time for FY 2013

Grant application deadline extended to May 31.

April 30, 2013 –  There is more good news for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). When Congress passed the 2013 appropriations bill, they removed previous limits on REAP funding. As a result, an additional $38 million has been released for farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

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BioCycle Conference on Renewable Energy from Organic’s Recycling

Title: BioCycle Conference on Renewable Energy from Organic’s Recycling
Location: Marriott St. Louis Union Station, St. Louis, MO
Start Date: 2012-10-29
End Date: 2012-10-31

Midwest Poultry Federation Convention

Title: Midwest Poultry Federation Convention
Location: St. Paul River Centre. Saint Paul, MN
Link out: Click here
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End Date: 2013-03-14

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Title: Midwest Value Added Conference
Location: La Crosse Radisson. La Crosse, WI
Link out: Click here
Start Date: 2012-12-12
End Date: 2012-12-13