USDA Rural Development Michigan State Director James Turner joined Senator Debbie Stabenow and local officials this summer in celebrating the opening of the largest commercial-scale anaerobic digester in the United States.
The Fremont Community Digester is an ambitious new use of a proven technology. Once used chiefly in farms, anaerobic digesters are now coming into their own.
The facility will convert organic waste products – such as farm and food waste – and process it into biogas. Approximately 1,500 local families will derive their power from this previously untapped energy source. Read more »
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee took a first look at a proposed version of the Farm Bill – or, as I call it – the farm, food and jobs bill. This is an important first step in the process to write the legislation and get it passed into law.
Farmers, ranchers, and the men and women who live in rural communities deserve to know what the rules will be moving forward.
With the current law expiring, we cannot wait any longer to reauthorize this essential law for rural America. It needs to happen this year. Read more »
Groundbreaking at the Fremont, Michigan, Community Digester. From left: City of Fremont Mayor James Rynberg, Rob Zeldenrust of North Central Co-Op, Arvin Shah of INDUS Energy, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, NOVI Energy President Anand Gangadharan, USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner, and state Rep. Jon Bumstead.
Michigan always has unpredictable weather, and Friday’s was exactly what one would expect – unexpected. I’m sure when they scheduled the groundbreaking for the Fremont community anaerobic digester, NOVI Energy assumed that late June would see warm weather and clear skies. Instead, the temperature was in the low 60s with scattered rain. This is no doubt why NOVI Energy also put up two large tents. Weather aside, the groundbreaking event was a huge success. Read more »
As I talk to farmers across the country, regardless of what they produce or where, they all share one common challenge: how to best move product from the farm to the marketplace. This is especially crucial for small and midsize farmers who may not have enough capital to own their own trucks, their own refrigeration units, or their own warehouse space. They might not have the resources to develop sophisticated distribution routes, build effective marketing campaigns or network with regional buyers and customers.
Without infrastructure, logistical and marketing support, these producers might be growing the sweetest strawberries or raising the most tender beef, but they lack the infrastructure support to get their exceptional products to your table. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks with Agricultural Outlook Board Forum Student Program Winners at the WAOB Forum held in Arlington, VA, on Thursday, February 24, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
“The safest bet in America is American agriculture!” That’s the way Secretary Tom Vilsack led off his remarks to the 2,000 farmers, ranchers, agriculture officials and industry leaders in attendance at today’s Agricultural Outlook Forum in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Read more »
We are very proud to announce former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow will be the 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum Plenary Session’s distinguished speakers. Their dedication to public service in the fields of nutrition and agriculture make them a welcome addition to this year’s Forum. The keynote address will be delivered by Secretary Vilsack. Read more »