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Published January 22, 2013, 03:59 PM

Ag Energy Coalition urges Congress to work on farm bill with energy programs

Organization says the legislation is needed for rural job growth and energy independence.

By: Agweek wire report,

WASHINGTON — Farm Bill Energy Title programs, such as the Rural Energy for America Program, Biomass Crop Assistance Program, Biorefinery Assistance Program and Biobased Markets Program (Biopreferred) have helped create jobs and economic growth in rural America, develop new agricultural markets, and improve farmers’ and ranchers’ energy self-sufficiency, according to the Agriculture Energy Coalition.

On Jan. 22, the coalition urged Congress to begin work on a new five-year farm bill with strong mandatory funding for energy programs.

“Farm energy programs have paid a tremendous return for rural Americans, in terms of new jobs, investments in new energy efficiency and bioenergy technology, and new biobased products,” said Lloyd Ritter, Agriculture Energy Coalition co-director. “Economic growth and job opportunities in rural America are at risk without a renewal of funding for these effective programs.”