USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack stopped at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois Wednesday to award $266 million in loans and grants for agriculture producers and rural small businesses to make investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements, made possible in part by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Vilsack used a white board to talk about funding under the IRA Climate Smart Agriculture initiative that is being used to help increase farm income while helping the environment. “There are 141 projects, we’re putting three billion dollars into those projects across every major commodity, every state in the country,” said Vilsack. “Farmers are going to get paid to adopt climate smart agricultural practices and new markets are going to be created.”
Listen to Vilsack’s remarks here:
2023 Farm Progress Show - Secretary Tom Vilsack 12:52
Vilsack met briefly with reporters and said the administration “hasn’t forgotten about biofuels, it hasn’t forgotten about ethanol. The administration understands it.”
The secretary went on to note what the Biden administration has done for the biofuels industry. “What administration has made E-15 year-round available? What administration has put billions of dollars into the development of sustainable aviation fuel?…What administration ended the rather liberal use of waivers to allow petroleum companies to basically skirt their responsibilities under the RFS…The answer to every one of those questions is the Biden administration.”