NMSU awarded more than $300,000 in USDA grants

Writer: Gabriella D. Ferrari

U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner announced last month grants totaling more than $300,000 for New Mexico State University.

NMSU’s Institute for Energy and the Environment received the Rural Energy for America Program-Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant in the amount of $100,000. It will be used to conduct energy audits at an area dairy farm and chile producer. After the audits are completed, the institute will use the data collected to create best management practices (BMP) for other agricultural producers to develop energy efficient plans for their farming operations.

“NMSU will use our funding to create model energy audits for dairy farms and green chile producers,” Brunner said during the presentation. “It’s our hope that this information will be useful to those businesses as they consider how to save on energy costs.”

The institute will utilize the grants during an 18-month period to assess the energy efficiency of a dairy farm and chile producer, to be determined, in Dona Ana and Sierra Counties.

“One of the goals for the Institute for Energy and the Environment is to help businesses realize cost savings through energy efficiency,” said Christopher Campbell, senior program manager. “This USDA grant is really an important step in that regard.”

KRWG-TV, owned and operated by NMSU, received $206,000 as part of the Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program under the USDA-Rural Utilities Services. The grant program was created to help public broadcasting facilities expand and modernize infrastructure and technology.

“Our Public Television grant being awarded to KRWG-TV will insure this TV station will continue its high level of programming to the thousands of viewers throughout Southern New Mexico,” Brunner said.

KRWG-TV will use the funding, specifically, for a new microwave system that would run from Milton Hall to the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds, to Deming, N.M, to Pinos Altos, N.M.

“It gives us a consistent feed and robust signal for radio and TV to Pinos Altos, which is the far west of our coverage,” said Glen Cerny, executive director of university broadcasting.

The new system will also be able to monitor if the station comes off the air, which currently is only known if viewers call in.

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Further information on rural programs is available at any local USDA Rural Development office or online at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.

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