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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Local farming nonprofits earn federal funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave Zero Emissions Northwest and Partners for Rural Washington $250,000 to help owners of small farms pursue and acquire federal funds to modernize farming practices.

The funding will help Washington farmers transition to renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements, according to a joint news release from the two organizations.

This will be accomplished by offering services to rural farmers, ranchers and small businesses, which will include energy assessments, grant writing, feasibility studies and technical support.

“By providing technical assistance as an official contractor with the USDA, ZEN and PRW can help rural Washington communities reduce their energy costs and environmental impact, fostering a more sustainable future for all,” the joint statement read.

Partners for Rural Washington is the state’s official Rural Development Council, a collaborative advocacy group made of representatives of federal, state, local and tribal governments, the private sector and the nonprofit sector. Councils are created by a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Agriculture and the state governor.

The organization is partnering with Zero Emissions, a Spokane-based energy consulting firm, to utilize the funds that were awarded as part of the Department’s Rural Energy for America Program Technical Assistance Grant.

“This collaboration will allow us to extend our reach and provide much-needed support to rural communities striving for energy efficiency and sustainability,” said David Funk, president of ZEN.