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For Immediate Release: April 2, 1998 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


Governor Christie Whitman today joined New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown and Board of Public Utilities (BPU) President Herbert Tate in announcing that more than 100 farmers around the state will implement energy efficiency projects on their farms to make them more viable for the future, thanks to a cooperative effort between the two agencies.

"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.