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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has more than $400 million available for the Rural Energy for America Program's "Renewable Energy System" and "Energy Efficiency Loan Guarantees."

The department states it encourages farmers, rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for financing from the Rural Energy for America Program, which provides loan guarantees to help rural small businesses lessen energy costs.

The USDA accepts applications year-round for the program funding. Funding can be used for renewable-energy systems such as anaerobic digesters, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar. It also can be used to make energy-efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems, insulation, and lighting and refrigeration.  Visit www.rd.usda.gov for more information.