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Wampler's Farm Sausage Company to Receive $250,000 Grant

LENOIR CITY, TN -- The USDA will be awarding Wampler's Farm Sausage Company a grant in the amount of $250,000 at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, October 7th at Wampler's facility in Lenoir City. This is the largest Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant ever awarded in the state of Tennessee.

The grants are administered by the USDA and are awarded to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to help assist in the purchase of renewable energy systems and/or make energy efficiency improvements.

Also at the ceremony, Wampler's will unveil its latest investment in its ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan: a $2.4 million – 500 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system.

Guest speakers at the event include: Congressman Duncan, USDA TN State Director for Rural Development Bobby Goode, TVA Manager Susan Curtis, President of Wampler's Farm Sausage Company Ted Wampler Jr., and President of Efficient Energy of Tennessee Robbie Thomas.

Along with Wampler's Farm Sausage Company, two other recipients will be awarded REAP grants: Greater Growth LLC and Pioneer Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. Greater Growth LLC will be receiving a grant in the amount of $18,000. Pioneer Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. grant amount TBA.

This ribbon cutting marks the second solar power project for Wampler's Farm Sausage Company. The first solar project, a 28kW PV system, was installed in 2009. The new 500kW system marks another milestone in Wampler's CSR plan.

When incorporating the new 500kW system, the company made key decisions to use products manufactured in Tennessee, supporting a variety of jobs around the state. The Tennessee companies used in the project include Sharp Solar, AGC Flat glass, Efficient Energy of Tennessee and Shoals Technology Group. The financing for the project was provided by the Tennessee Group of United Community Bank and USDA, Rural Development's Rural Energy for America Program.

In an ongoing effort to increase the company's sustainability, Wampler's Farm Sausage Company has incorporated several other projects in addition to solar power that help reduce their carbon footprint.

Published October 4, 2011, 2:37 p.m.

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