Deputy Agriculture Undersecretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien says USDA is funding a series of projects to convert biomass to energy through USDA’s Rural Energy for America program. This announcement concludes 2011 biomass project funding assistance for a total of 52 projects with just over 31-million dollars in grant and loan note guarantees through REAP. This support helped to leverage a total of 154.5-million dollars of biomass project development in 26 states.

Speaking at an event in Halifax, Virginia, O’Brien said – the Obama Administration is assisting cooperatives, small businesses, farmers and ranchers, as they work to reduce their energy costs. O’Brien noted, – when energy costs are reduced, American rural businesses become more competitive, allowing them to expand and create jobs. The Undersecretary was speaking at an event marking USDA Rural Development’s participation in construction of a biomass plant to be operated by the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative.

NAFB News Service