Sen. Brown Announces Support For Biofuels Development As American Freedom Energy Hosts USDA Event In Liberty Center

United States Department of Agriculture Kicks Off Flex-Fuel Events in Northwest Ohio

Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers, Soybean Council, and Clean Fuels Ohio Support Plan for Alternative Fueling Station in Henry County

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced support of a proposed alternative fueling station in Henry County. The American Freedom Energy (AFE), Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers, the Soybean Council, and Clean Fuels Ohio held an event with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to bolster efforts to install blender pumps and make alternative fuels available in Liberty Center.

“Agriculture and energy innovation are as natural to Ohio as the cardinal and buckeye,” Brown said. “That’s why new efforts to grow Ohio’s clean energy industry in rural areas like Henry County are a boon not only to our economy, but also to our commitment to create new jobs. Developing biofuels will empower Ohio communities to lead the innovation and energy independence that America needs to out-compete the rest of the world.”

The USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program provides payments, grants, loans, and loan guarantees for rural American companies and organizations seeking to develop renewable energy sources, including biofuels, solar, and wind systems.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of nearly $149 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

Last month, Brown launched his ‘Grown in Ohio’ listening tour in Chesterland at the Patterson Fruit Farm. Brown will be holding a number of these listening sessions across Ohio in the coming months to get the input of Ohio farmers before the Senate considers the 2012 Farm Bill.

Brown held a similar series of listening sessions prior to the last Farm Bill, and at one roundtable, the idea for the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program was born and eventually adopted in the final Farm Bill. The ACRE provision allows farmers to choose a new safety net program that protects against drops in yield or prices, which is critical for farmers given the uncertain and volatile farm economy.

Last month, Brown addressed the Ohio Farm Bureau in Washington, D.C., where he announced his plans for the ‘Grown in Ohio’ tour. At that speech, Brown outlined priorities for economic development and job growth in Ohio’s agricultural industry. In March, Brown also held a call with nearly 30 Ohio farmers to announce that he will be the new Chair of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth, and Energy. The critical panel is responsible for job creation in small towns and rural communities and the continued development of renewable fuels and clean energy technologies that support rural America.

As the first Ohioan in more than 40 years to serve on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Brown is looking forward to working on behalf of Ohio’s agricultural community as the Senate considers the 2012 Farm Bill. During the authorization of the 2008 Farm Bill, Brown traveled around the state to listen to Ohio’s farmers and take their ideas to Washington.  Brown helped secure six major provisions that will improve and reform the farm safety net, support rural communities, promote renewable energy, encourage healthy diets, and protect natural resources.

Brown has held more 170 roundtables throughout the state, and he is the first Ohioan to serve on both the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee. Agriculture is still Ohio’s largest industry.

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