As Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture- Rural Development’s Business and Cooperative Programs, I travel throughout the country, promoting the President’s and Secretary’s vision of revitalizing rural America. Of the many talks that I have given this year, one of the most exciting and memorable moments for me occurred on Saturday, May 14, 2011, when I had the honor and privilege of giving two commencement speeches to graduating classes totaling 500 students at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) in Laredo, Texas.
As a native of south Texas, you can imagine how excited I was to have this opportunity to share my educational roots and professional experiences with these inspiring new graduates. Many of these students are the first in their families to graduate from college; therefore, the experience was not only a major accomplishment for the graduates but a monumental achievement for their families who were present at this event. So, as I shook the hands of each of the graduates as they came up on stage to receive their diplomas, I couldn’t help but think to myself how very proud I was of these students and their families. Read more »
Last month, USDA Rural Development in Ohio hosted another event in the “Flexible Fuels Roadshow” aimed at broadening awareness of Secretary Vilsack’s objective of deploying 10,000 flexible fuel pumps into the nation’s motor fuel delivery system by 2015. As part of USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), eligible applicants can now apply for funding for flex-fuel pumps, in addition to other energy producing and saving projects. For the first time, gas station and convenience store operators across the country can qualify for a package of REAP funding to support the purchase and installation of flex-fuel pumps and related infrastructure.
According to Rural Business-Cooperative Administrator Judith Canales, grants are available to provide fuel station owners with incentives to install flexible fuel pumps that offer Americans more renewable energy options. She wanted to make certain that everyone is aware of the variety of assistance USDA Rural Development provides to help businesses create jobs and become more energy efficient. This assistance builds on the Obama Administration’s commitment to win the future by ensuring the nation develops innovative ways to meet our future energy needs. Read more »
Last week USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Programs Administrator Judith Canales crossed Michigan’s Lower Peninsula at a series of events to highlight flex-fuel options and the availability of renewable energy assistance.
She addressed the Michigan Business Incubator Association’s conference “Michigan’s Changing Economy: The Role of Business Incubation and New Venture Creation” in East Lansing.
Afterward she met with Michael Petersen, owner of Petersen Oil in Greenville, and a leader in the flexible fuel movement, and discussed how USDA Rural Development can provide funding for flex fuel pumps. The application deadline is June 15. Read more »
Earlier this week, Judith Canales, Administrator for Rural Business and Cooperative Programs for USDA Rural Development, stopped by the GM assembly plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to discuss Flex-Fuel opportunities available to American business owners. Canales’ visit was part of a three-state tour in the Midwest, where she and other representatives of USDA Rural Development promoted the installation of flexible fuel pumps and a program that retail fuel outlets may qualify for to help pay for these pumps.
The USDA chose to include Fort Wayne Assembly on its list of stops because the plant makes pickup trucks that have Flex-Fuel engines as options. Read more »
Attendees at the recent “Building a Sustainable Renewable Energy Program for the 21st Century” conference in Denver, Colorado, participated in discussions about how renewable energy opportunities could create new jobs and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. Among those in attendance was USDA Rural Development Business Programs Administrator Judy Canales.
The event began with a luncheon presentation from Greg Krissek, ICM, Director of Government Affairs and Jim Imbler, ZeaChem, Chief Executive Officer. Krissek’s presentation to the group focused on the ethanol and biofuels industry. Krissek has been in the business for 11 years and currently oversees 102 plants with 6.5 billion gallons of ethanol production per year. He noted that America needs to take what we have learned from first generation biofuels and build on it through adding cellulosic changes to the process. Imbler focused his discussion on new technology in biorefinery development and in particular a cellulose-based biorefinery platform that could be capable of producing advanced ethanol, fuels and chemicals. The company is headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado. They currently operate a research and development laboratory facility in Menlo Park, California and have a 250,000 gallon per year cellulosic biorefinery under construction in Boardman, Oregon. Read more »
Administrator Judy Canales is joined by Missouri State Director, Janie Dunning and Kansas State Director, Patty Clark as they tour the ICM-Lifeline Foods Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Plant in St. Joe, Missouri.
President Obama and Secretary Vilsack have developed a national strategy for job creation and economic vitality through investment in green energy technology and businesses. USDA Rural Development can now help finance flex-fuel pumps through its Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP). Administrator Judy Canales saw those two initiatives intersect when she toured the new ICM pilot cellulosic ethanol facility in St. Joseph, Missouri. Read more »