U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand was in western Ohio earlier this week to celebrate a recent $23,750 Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grant to Harvest Land.
“The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program supports American farmers and boosts rural economic development by expanding ethanol and biodiesel sales,” said Brand. “The investment we’re recognizing today is among $22 million awarded in the program nationwide, expected to increase ethanol demand by nearly 150 million gallons annually.
“Moreover, both Harvest Land and CountryMark are member-owned cooperatives, and, as October is National Cooperative Month, it’s fitting to highlight the dynamic partnership between USDA Rural Development and the co-ops that serve our rural communities. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
The Greenville award will be used to offset the cost of replacing one dispenser which dispenses product on two sides at Harvest Land’s Greenville fueling station, and is expected to increase the amount of ethanol sold by an estimated 238,954 gallons annually.
“Harvest Land has never forgotten the cooperative spirit from which we were founded, one which encourages working together to achieve a common goal, and we are proud to partner with CountryMark and the USDA’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to cross state lines and offer Indiana and Ohio farmers more opportunity to market their commodities,” said Scott Logue, Harvest Land President and CEO.
“Continued investments in energy security, rural economies and consumer choice will allow our farmer-members to continue to operate and raise up the next generation of growers. Harvest Land understands the volatility in agriculture and the challenges our growers face as they continue to find innovative ways to feed America and those lands beyond. We stand behind this commitment to America’s farmers and consumers,” Logue finished.
Two additional HBIIP grants were awarded in Ohio and Indiana:
- Columbus, Ohio-based Benchmark Biodiesel will use its $38,000 grant to replace two dispensers at its fuel terminal west of the city. The project is expected to increase the amount of ethanol sold by 740,204 gallons annually.
- Crawfordsville, Indiana-based Ceres Solutions Cooperative will use its $55,562 grant to replace four dispensers at one fueling station. The project is expected to increase the amount of ethanol sold by 256,554 gallons annually.
In addition to Ohio and Indiana, 12 other states received HBIIP grants: California, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Utah, and Wisconsin.
The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program helps transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure.
Eligible applicants include vehicle fueling facilities such as local fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, fuel terminal operations, midstream partners and distribution facilities. Higher biofuel blends contain greater than 10 percent ethanol or five percent biodiesel by volume.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.