WASHINGTON, D.C. — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a new pilot program under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support the development of biobased products that have lower carbon footprints and increase the use of renewable agricultural materials, creating new revenue streams for farmers.
Secretary Vilsack visited Dan and Debbie’s Creamery, a family-owned operation in Ely, Iowa, and met to discuss what impact this bioproduct pilot program and resulting innovations will have on operations like theirs, as well as the customers they serve. Dan and Debbie’s Creamery farm is about 500 acres with a 120-head dairy operation.
“Dan and Debbie represent the many American farmers, families and communities USDA is called to serve,” Vilsack said. “This pilot program is a critical part of USDA’s commitment to enhancing the circular economy and providing additional revenue streams for farmers. This program will help farmers take field residues and waste products and turn them into value-added products that create wealth and drive economic development in rural areas.”
Under this program, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) can award up to $10 million divided among the highest-rated applications that include eligible universities and private-sector partners.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided funds for sustainable bioproduct manufacturing for construction and consumer products. The statute directs USDA to partner with “not less than one institution” to study the benefits of using materials derived from a very broad definition of “covered agricultural commodities.”
Complete information on this funding opportunity can be found on the NIFA website at: www.nifa.usda.gov/grants/funding-opportunities/bioproduct-pilot-program. An informational webinar for those interested in applying will be held on July 14, 2022, at 2:00 – 3:30 pm Central Time. To register, visit the Bioproduct Pilot Program Informational Webinar page.
This project will be implemented by a team of USDA experts from NIFA’s Institute of Bioenergy, Climate and Environment, USDA Rural Development’s BioPreferred Program and the U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovations Team and Forest Products Lab.
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