USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel and USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Don Todd at a Biofuels Forum held in Presque Isle, Maine
USDA Rural Development and the Farm Service Agency held a Forum on Expanding the U.S. Biofuels Market on October 15 at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. I participated in this important Forum, which sought input from local biofuels producers and stakeholders on the USDA’s interim plan on how to develop a successful biofuels market. The plan outlines the development of a successful biofuels market capable of achieving the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standards mandate of producing and using 36 billion gallons or renewable transportation fuel per year by 2022. Read more »
Aroostook Band of Micmacs Cultural Director John Dennis performed a smudging ceremony for attendees at the Tribal Consultation. In the photo are John Dennis and USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel
Maine USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel welcomed the Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities (RUS) Jessica Zufolo to Maine this week for an important tribal consultation meeting with leaders of Maine’s Native American tribes. Read more »
By Virginia Manuel, Maine Rural Development State Director
Diabetes, obesity, alcoholism and cancer are health problems that all of America faces, but a study showed that incidents of these problems are higher among Native Americans. The Aroostook Band of Micmacs are taking action to change those statistics. Read more »
Written by C. Jeffrey Bergeron, Acting USDA Public Information OfficerUSDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager and Maine Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel visited a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) project in Ogunquit, Maine while attending the 2010 National Association of Credit Specialists Annual Convention earlier this week.
The project was at the Meadowmere Hotel in Ogunquit, which with the aid of a USDA Rural Development REAP Grant of $49,625 was able to install a state-of-the-art commercial solar thermal hot water system to preheat a significant portion of the domestic hot water for the building.
The approximate 30 percent savings the Meadowmere Hotel will recoup in energy costs will allow the hotel to continue to sustain its business and 53 jobs. “This project is a perfect example of how Rural Development is working to help keep the Maine economy on track” said Manuel, as she and Under Secretary Tonsager visited the hotel and viewed the solar thermal system. Manuel said, “The solar thermal hot water system is a great source of clean renewable energy, and USDA Rural Development is dedicated to supporting the rural Maine economy by funding green projects like this one.”
Standing in front of the solar panels on the hotels roof are (Left to Right) Allyson Cavaretta, Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager, Owner Phillip Cavaretta, and Maine State Director Virginia Manuel. The energy saving panels were funded in part with funds from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program.