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USDA Offering $21 million in AFRI Funding

Monday, May 23, 2016  
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The USDA announced the availability of $21 million in funding through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to support the development of regional systems in sustainable bioenergy and biobased products, as well as education and training for the next generation of scientists.

The current round of funding is offered through the ARFI Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts challenge area, which creates or sustains jobs by enhancing existing food and fiber production systems, boosts ecosystems by reducing greenhouse gases and improving water and habitat quality, and providing renewable energy, chemical, and product options.

"This announcement marks the Obama Administration's latest investment in the biobased economy, which pumps $369 billion into the U.S. economy each year and supports 4 million jobs in rural and small towns across the United States. Over the course of this Administration, America has more than doubled our renewable energy production, and today we import less than half our oil. We are saving money at the pump, bolstering national security by relying less on foreign oil, and combatting climate change with investments in technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide for cleaner air," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Today's investment into regional production systems and the development of our next generation of scientists will have a direct impact on local economies now and set us up for a brighter, more innovative future."

The 2016 applications will focus on two specific priority areas. The first is Regional Bioenergy Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs), which support the production and delivery of regionally appropriate sustainable biomass feedstocks for the production of bioenergy and bioproducts. The second area is focused on preparing a new generation of students, faculty and a workforce for emerging opportunities in bioenergy, bioproducts and the bioeconomy.

Applications are due July 14, 2016.

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