Rural Development

Grants for Farmers & Rural Businesses

Support for rural

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) from USDA Rural Development is a great opportunity for Minnesota farmers and rural businesses to save energy with efficiency work and add renewable energy systems.

  • Grants can cover up to 40% of eligible project costs, and loans can cover up to 75% of eligible project costs. 
  • The deadlines for applications are March 31 and October, 31 of each year.
  • There is also a shorter application that can be completed without the help of a grant writer for smaller projects.

How does REAP work?

  1. For Grants: Grants can cover up to 40% of eligible project costs. Applications for renewable energy or energy efficiency grants are due each year on March 31 (all projects) and October 31 (projects $80k or less). Projects requesting grants of up to $20,000 ($80,000 or less total project cost) can fill out a shorter application.
  2. For Loans: Loans can cover up to 75% of eligible project costs. The Guaranteed Loan-only program will now accept and process applications on a continual basis throughout the year so applications can be submitted at any time.

Are you eligible?

  • All farms who make at least 50% of their gross income from agricultural production are eligible for REAP.
  • Other farms and rural small businesses that are located in communities with populations less than 50,000 are also eligible.

See eligibility

Video: Applying for a USDA REAP grant

Need an energy audit?

As part of the REAP application process you’ll need to get an energy audit. If you haven’t gotten one before, watch the video below to learn more. Talk to your electric utility about whether or not they provide audits and who they recommend.

Video: Getting a farm energy audit

Other options from Minnesota Department of Agriculture

You might also consider applying for the Livestock Investment Program Grant and a Farm Opportunity Loan from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.