U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown today will announce a $5.7 million award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that he says will create up to 1,210 new jobs by enabling Northeast Ohio farmers to grow a clean energy biomass known as “miscanthus giganteus.”

Farmers in Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga and Trumbull counties — as well as in several neighboring counties in Pennsylvania — will be eligible to receive the funds to grow miscanthus, a type of grass, which will be converted into biofuels at an Aloterra Energy plant in Conneaut.

Sen. Brown and Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, are scheduled to host a news conference at 3:15 p.m. today to discuss the project.

In a news release ahead of the news conference, Sen. Brown said the funding is coming from the agriculture department's Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to farmers to establish, produce and deliver biomass.

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