"New Jersey's farms make an important
contribution to our economy and to our open space goals," Whitman
said. "By helping them to achieve energy-efficiency, we help to guarantee
the long-term viability of our farm families." NJDA has put $687,000
together with $496,556 from BPU's Business Energy Improvement Program
(BEIP) to fund 110 grants to farmers for irrigation pumps, tractors,
greenhouse shades and other projects that conserve energy and improve
the environment. "Energy costs are one of the largest operating expenses
faced by Garden State farmers. By helping farmers improve their energy
efficiency, these grants will reduce energy costs and improve the
profitability of the farm," Brown said. "Through the BEIP, we have
received a good response from New Jersey farmers who want to participate
in energy conservation efforts," Tate noted. "Our partnership gives
the Board and the Department of Agriculture the opportunity to provide
real incentives to farmers to conserve energy.'
Approved applicants have been notified.
Upon completion of each project, a site visit will be conducted and
the farmer will be reimbursed for approved project costs.