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Energy Stipend Grants for
Specialty Crop Producers

Agricultural production consumes significant amounts of energy.  After cotton and rice production, specialty crop production had the next highest average electricity expense ($11,814) among crop producers, due to the use of irrigated water and greenhouse heating. NH ranks sixth in the nation for average electricity costs (US Energy Information Administration).  

 

Through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Cheshire County Conservation District (CCCD), is excited to offer stipends of $2,000 to farms to increase their energy efficiency and renewable energy options, with the goal of lowering operating costs, increasing viability, and increasing competitiveness.

Applications for the second grant round are now closed.

Request for Proposals (RFP) 2024

Eligible applicants must be specialty crop producers in Cheshire County and bordering counties.

Specialty crops are defined in law as, “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture". Read the full definition here.

Eligible projects include but are not limited to: making energy efficiency improvements to farm infrastructure (e.g. coolers, lights, irrigation, electric tractors, etc),  due diligence and paperwork needed in purchasing solar shares in net metering opportunities (e.g. Community Supported Solar for Farms in the Monadnock Region), and investing in appropriately scaled on-farm renewable energy projects (e.g. solar). New equipment purchases must be energy star rated to receive funding through the program.

Stipends can be used to fund project costs, consulting with advisors, communicating with vendors and contractors, and farmer time.

Stipends can NOT be used for construction-related costs or general purpose equipment (equipment not directly related to the energy efficiency/renewable energy goals).  

Applications are due May 10, 2024.

Applications for 2024 are now closed.

Ready to Apply?

If you have reviewed the RFP above and confirmed that you meet all of the eligibility requirements, please complete an application:

Applications are due on May 10, 2024

Please submit completed applications via the google form.

 

For Cheshire County producers looking for more information or to discuss project proposals, please contact Amanda: 603-756-2988 x4  / amanda@cheshireconservation.org

Additional Funding and Technical Assistance Opportunities for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects:

View a full directory of resources and funding programs, here!

2024 Grant Round 1 Recipients and Projects:

Abenaki Springs Farm (Walpole, NH)

Bruce Bickford at Abenaki Springs Farm will add a second layer of plastic to their high tunnel. This second layer will increase the efficiency in their high tunnel and will result in lowered propane usage to heat their high tunnel during the growing season.

Bonita Farms (Walpole, NH)

Sam Senner of Bonita Farms will install solar panels to supply the farm with a renewable energy
source. The solar panels will be affixed to the existing barn, and will supply the total property with it’s energy needs.

Dog Days Farm (Fitzwilliam, NH)

Jack Rixey of Dog Days Farm will utilize the stipend to support the farms long term climate resiliency plan which is to expand their covered growing space. This project will address how the farm plans to absorb the costs associated with growing under cover, as well as strategies for reducing energy use in covered growing spaces.  

Dove Hill Farm (Walpole, NH)

Bevin Mitchell of Dove Hill Farm will improve the efficiency of their cooler. This improvement will lower their energy costs, usage, as well as improve the storage of their crops.

Flock and Clowder (Fitzwilliam, NH)

James Sullivan of Flock and Clowder will design and install a rainwater catchment and solar-powered drip irrigation system that is more energy efficient than their garden hose sprinkler system. 

Foggy Hill Farm (Jaffrey, NH)

Christine and Andy Pressman of Foggy Hill Farm will utilize the stipend to support their participation, research, and efforts in the Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar for Farms (CSS) project. The CSS project will lower their energy costs, as well as increase renewable energy usage and profitability on their farm.

Gemmo Forest (Keene, NH)

Lauren Hubele of Gemmo Forest will utilize the stipend to purchase an electric brush mower. This project will reduce the need for a gas-powered tractor.

Gentle Women's Farm (Winchester, NH)

Sue Vincent of Gentle Women's Farm will utilize the stipend to support their participation, research, and efforts in the Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar for Farms (CSS) project. The CSS project will lower their energy costs, as well as increase renewable energy usage and profitability on their farm.

Hillside Springs Farm (Westmoreland, NH)

Frank Hunter and Kim Peavey of Hillside Springs Farm will utilize the stipend to support their participation, research, and efforts in the Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar for Farms (CSS) project. The CSS project will lower their energy costs, as well as increase renewable energy usage and profitability on their farm.

Lucky 13 Farm (Winchester, NH)

Jake & Gerianne Fierro of Lucky 13 Farm will improve the efficiency of their farm store cooler. This improvement will lower their energy costs, usage, as well as improve the storage of their crops.

Partners' Gardens (Nelson, NH)

Jenna & Tyler Rich of Partners' Gardens will utilize the stipend to support their participation, research, and efforts in the Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar for Farms (CSS) project. The CSS project will lower their energy costs, as well as increase renewable energy usage and profitability on their farm.

Picadilly Farm (Winchester, NH)

Jenny & Bruce Wooster of Picadilly Farm will utilize the stipend to support their participation and efforts in the Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar for Farms (CSS) project. The CSS project will lower their energy costs, as well as increase renewable energy usage on their farm.

 

Sun Moon Farm (Rindge, NH)

Craig & Megan Jensen of Sun Moon Farm will utilize the stipend to support their participation, research, and efforts in the Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar for Farms (CSS) project. The CSS project will lower their energy costs, as well as increase renewable energy usage and profitability on their farm. Sun Moon Farm hosts the solar array for the CSS project.

Vera Flora Farm (Gilsum, NH)

Sarah Barkhouse of Vera Flora Farm will improve the efficiency of their heated seed propagation greenhouse. This project will result in the ability to grow more plants and increase farm profitability, while using less energy per unit produced.

Whittaker's Homestead (Alstead, NH)

Lizz Whittaker of Whittaker's Homestead will install a walk-in cooler in their wash pack station. This improvement will lower their energy costs, usage, as well as improve the storage of their crops.

This grant program is made possible through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program from New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food. USDA is an equal opportunity employer, provider and lender.

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