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ST. PAUL, Minn.
The federal government is awarding nearly $5 million to help 162 Minnesota farmers and small businesses make energy efficiency improvements.
The money comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program, which seeks to reduce energy costs and develop new sources of renewable energy. It includes more than $3.9 million in grants and over $900,000 in loan guarantees.
Nationally, USDA announced more than $30 million in loans and grants to 517 recipients Tuesday.
Most of the 162 grants going to Minnesota will help farmers replace or upgrade their grain dryer systems. USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer says the newer units will improve energy efficiency by 30 percent in many cases.