Diverse group calls for full REAP funding

On April 3, 2019 over 50 diverse groups from around the USA signed on to a letter to Congressional in support of full mandatory and discretionary funding for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).


Support Letter Rural Energy for America Program


April 3, 2019

The Honorable Sanford Bishop, Chairman
House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee

The Honorable John Hoeven, Chairman
Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee

The Honorable Jeff Fortenberry, Ranking Member
House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee

The Honorable Jeff Merkley, Ranking Member
Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee

Dear Chairman Bishop, Chairman Hoeven, Ranking Member Fortenberry, and Ranking Member Merkley:


We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to support the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) by protecting mandatory funding as you consider agriculture appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2020. In addition we ask that you consider appropriating $20 million in discretionary funding to support the program. REAP drives renewable energy and energy efficiency investments benefitting farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses in every state and across agricultural sectors.


The 2018 Farm Bill once again demonstrated that REAP enjoys strong bipartisan support. Since its inception, REAP has helped over 16,000 farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to produce clean energy, cut energy costs, and boost rural economic development.


Importantly, REAP investment leverages high private investment in our rural communities. REAP increases investment in rural economic development and growing new opportunities for rural small businesses and agricultural producers. Since the 2014 Farm Bill, REAP has leveraged more than $4 billion in private investment in rural economies.


REAP opens new opportunities to save and make money for farmers and rural small businesses in every state and across agricultural sectors. REAP supports a wide range of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology choices; including wind and solar power, advanced biofuels, farm digesters, and energy efficiency that cut farm input costs. REAP also creates new revenue streams, increasing farm income at a time when rural communities are struggling with a multiyear slump in the farm economy.


Protecting mandatory REAP funding and providing additional discretionary funding in FY 2020 will help bring the benefits of the program to more farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses. The 2018 Farm Bill includes $50 million per year in mandatory funding and allows for $20 million in discretionary funding. This funding level will enable REAP to continue to serve interested farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses and encourage more rural investment.


REAP is popular and widely supported, with requests exceeding available funds each year. This is not surprising, given that profit margins for rural small businesses and farmers improve as they cut costs with modern energy efficiency and generate their own energy through renewable energy technologies. Further, growing new opportunities with modern technologies helps to keep younger generations in rural areas and in farming.


REAP has a strong track record of success, and with full mandatory and $20 million  in discretionary funding we believe that REAP will continue to benefit farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses across the country while helping to meet our nation’s pressing energy, environmental, and rural economic development needs. Importantly, by reducing energy input costs, REAP provides relief to farmers struggling with low commodity prices.


Thank you for your consideration of fully funding REAP in FY2020.



25x’25 Alliance

Advanced Biofuels Association

Agriculture Energy Coalition

American Biogas Council

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Arkansas Advanced Energy Association

Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association

Center for Rural Affairs

Clean Energy Economy Minnesota


Environmental and Energy Study Institute

Environmental Law & Policy Center

Farmers Electric Cooperative – Kalona

Fresh Energy

Georgia Corn Growers Association

Georgia Poultry Federation

Geothermal Alliance of Illinois

Geothermal Exchange Organization

Illinois Environmental Council

Indiana Farmers Union

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Iowa Environmental Council

Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association

Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light, Inc

Kentucky Poultry Federation

League of Conservation Voters

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Michigan Farmers Union

Mississippi Poultry Association

Missouri Farmers Union

National Association of Energy Service Companies

National Farmers Union

National Rural Lenders Association

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

National Wildlife Federation

Natural Resources Defense Council

Nebraska Ethanol Board

Nebraska Farmers Union

New England Farmers Union

New York Interfaith Power & Light

Physicians for Social Responsibility

RENEW Wisconsin

Solar Energy Industries Association

Solar United Neighbors

Solutions from the Land

Spark Northwest

Texas Poultry Federation

The Business Council for Sustainable Energy

The Poultry Federation (AR, OK and MO)

The Stella Group, Ltd.

Tennessee Poultry Association

Union of Concerned Scientists

Vote Solar




cc: House and Senate Appropriations Committee