LITTLE FALLS -- Steve Wenzel, state director of USDA Rural Development in Minnesota, sees a bright future for the ethanol industry in Minnesota.
Speaking at the recent annual board and shareholder meeting of the Central Minnesota Ethanol Cooperative, Little Falls, Wenzel praised the "tenacity" of co-op members in "translating the dream of better farm income into the reality of the Central Minnesota Ethanol Cooperative." He also assured them that "ethanol, alternative fuels and value-added agriculture have the full support of President George W. Bush and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman."
Wenzel added that his agency, USDA Rural Development, recently awarded a major grant to encourage the production of bio-diesel fuel from soybeans while it continues to explore the energy potential of crops and grain byproducts not directly used in ethanol production.
"Federal and state agencies are also looking at tree farming and the use of animal wastes for energy production," Wenzel added.
"Whether we are talking about alternative fuels or renewable energy, the major source will be from crops grown on the farm or the byproducts of animals raised by farm families. What Minnesota and Morrison County farmers do best," Wenzel said, "is grow abundant crops and raise first-class livestock."
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