Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded a five-year, $10 million grant to Pennsylvania State University to develop biomass supply chains for the production of liquid transportation and aviation biofuels. This is the sixth grant made through the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, placing an opportunity in every corner of the country to promote biofuels, according to Vilsack. The grant will help fund research to plant miscanthus, switchgrass or willow in strip mines and marginal flood plain lands. During a media conference, the Secretary told reporters that the new initiative is expected to bring 400,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Once the industry reaches the mandate to provide 36-billion gallon of biofuels per year in the nation’s fuel supply, Vilsack said nearly 1 million jobs would be created.
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