Alexander, Corker Announce $63,500 to Johnson County for Appalachian Sustainable Energy & Agriculture Project

Say Funding Will Install Solar Greenhouses on County Landfill and Support Local Agriculture Enterprises

Posted on December 5, 2008

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today announced $63,500 in funding for Johnson County from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). “I’m glad to see this money coming to farmers in Johnson County to promote new, innovative practices in agriculture,” Alexander said. “ARC’s continued investment in our rural communities is bringing a better way of life to many Tennesseans.” “Making agricultural production more sustainable and energy efficient will help prepare our country for a new energy economy,” Corker said. “Tennessee is proving to be a valuable incubator for research and development of alternative and renewable energy sources that will allow us to produce more domestically and use less in our homes and businesses. I appreciate the Appalachian Regional Commission’s continued investment in the future of Tennessee’s rural communities.” This funding will help install passive solar greenhouses on a closed county landfill and provide training and technical support to local agriculture enterprises. The ARC funds, along with $128,503 from local sources, will install greenhouses that utilize a subterranean heating and cooling system, which allows for year-round seedling production. The funds will also provide training to agricultural ventures in marketing, financial feasibility, and costing. Helping the project become self sustaining, over 20,000 native plant seedlings are expected to be sold annually. The ARC is a federal-state partnership that supports economic development and improved quality of life in Appalachia. Appalachia, as defined in the legislation from which the ARC derives its authority, is a 200,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. About 23 million people live in the 410 counties of the Appalachian Region; 42 percent of the Region's population is rural, compared with 20 percent of the national population. The Tennessee counties included as part of the ARC include: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.