U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today applauded the United States Department of Agriculture's announcement of new support for Michigan State University's agriculture technology research programs. Secretary Vilsack is visiting the campus to address graduates at Michigan State's commencement and will announce the grant, which will spur the production of next-generation biofuels. Michigan State is a world leader in agricultural research and advanced biofuels, which use new technologies to create biofuels from plant waste, switchgrass and other agricultural sources. Stabenow has led the effort to expand next-generation biofuel production, which will create new jobs and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
The funding is awarded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Michigan State University's grant totals $349,695.
Senator Stabenow said: "When we make things here and grow things here, we create jobs here in Michigan. This award will help Michigan State remain at the forefront of innovative agricultural research and next-generation biofuel research. It is critical that we support advanced biofuels and biobased manufacturing, so we can produce more Michigan-grown fuel and Michigan-made products. We cannot afford to lose the global race with other countries to create the new technologies and jobs of the future."
Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture said: "USDA and President Obama are committed to producing clean energy right here at home, to not only break our dependence on foreign oil, but also boost rural economies. The research conducted at Michigan State will help give us the scientific information needed to support biofuel production and create co-products that will enhance the overall value of a biobased economy. Today, with a strong and diversified U.S. agricultural sector, the American automobile industry has a greater incentive for expanding use of biobased products while supporting good-paying jobs here in the United States."
The research grant comes through the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's competitive grant program, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). AFRI's sustainable bioenergy challenge area targets the development of regional systems for the sustainable production of bioenergy and biobased products that contribute significantly to reducing dependence on foreign oil and growing our economy.