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Johanns announces more than $21 million in energy projects

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns recently announced the award of 14 grants and one loan guarantee totaling over $21.6 million to increase energy production or improve electrical service and energy efficiency in communities in five states.

"Increasing domestic energy production, including the development of farm-based energy sources, helps to strengthen the economy of rural America and reduces our dependence on imported oil," said Johanns. "These funds will also help to promote energy efficiency by improving our existing electrical infrastructure."

For example, in Clinton, Iowa, a USDA Rural Development Renewable Energy Systems loan guarantee of $3,220,000 will be used to partially fund construction and operation of a biodiesel production plant with a yearly capacity of 10 million gallons. The plant will use over 7 million bushels of Midwestern grown soybeans a year. Additionally, the plant will use its own by-products to provide much of its energy supply. It is owned by Clinton County Bio Energy, LLC, which includes local farmers and business operators. When completed, the plant will provide at least nine new jobs.

A complete list of the grant recipients is available at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns recently announced the award of 14 grants and one loan guarantee totaling over $21.6 million to increase energy production or improve electrical service and energy efficiency in communities in five states.

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