The U.S. Department of Agriculture is sending money to several states to help fund energy crop initiatives. The move is part of the USDA’s overall effort to support renewable energy and a greener economy.
Since 2008, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and President Barack Obama have pledged to make green energy and renewable energy programs a major part of the U.S. economy. This has meant supporting biofuel subsidies, encouraging farmers to commit to growing energy crops, and investing heavily in the technological and physical infrastructure required to support renewable energy initiatives.
Vilsack’s announcement earlier this week that the USDA was sending $8 million in grants to biomass farmers in North Carolina and New York is the latest example of this commitment.
Vilsack portrayed the grants as a necessary investment in America’s economic future, stating that biofuels creates jobs, reduces reliance on foreign oil, and can help insulate farmers from high fuel costs. “The more you produce, and the more experience you have, the more efficient you become, and the more efficient you become the easier it is to price a product competitively,” he said. “Obviously there are some significant benefits to this, not least of which is basically not exporting our hard-earned dollars to countries that don’t necessarily agree with us.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer