USDA using $10 million from infrastructure law for ‘roadmap’ to turn agricultural waste into more useful materials – Iowa Public Radio


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has introduced A mannequin new pilot program To transform agricultural waste like area residue and manure into enchancment supplies and shopper merchandise, an effort to wrestle local climate change and bolster rural financial enchancment.

A lot of meals waste goes to landfills, which emit methane into the environment. The U.S. Division of Agriculture Desires to level out that waste into one factor extra local climate-nice and useful, referred to as “biobased merchandise.”

At Dan and Debbie’s Creamery in Ely, Vilsack introduced $10 million from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure regulation to develop what he referred to as a “current chain roadmap” To Do this.

Vilsack said he’d anticipate communities, farms and co-ops to work collectively and Take into consideration what types of biobased merchandise Might be Made from their space And the method they’d make them. The USDA is accepting purposes for this pilot program by way of The prime of August.

“The thought is how can we take crop residue and completely different feedstocks,” Vilsack said, “And the method Can we convert them And alter them into biobased merchandise for consumers or in enchancment.”

Vilsack says the pilot program Might assist livestock producers, For event, forestall manure from Getting into rivers and streams.

“You uncover An alternate use for that waste, you separate the water and the solids, For event in manure, you reclaim the water,” Vilsack said. “Why is that important? As a Outcome of we’re confronted in some parts of this nation with some critical water shortages.”

Universities, farmers and communities can apply for funding, which Shall be awarded by the USDA’s Nationwide Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“All of That is designed primarily to create further income streams for farmers, further job alternatives in rural places,” Vilsack said, “and states like Iowa Ought to be All by way of this.”


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