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Farm to Fuel Grants Awarded

January 22nd, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

12 entities across the state will share a 25 million dollar Farm to Fuel grant. The money is designed to turn Florida agricultural products into usable energy. The state goal is for agriculture to produce 25 percent of the states fuel by the year 2025. Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson says those who were chosen for the grants are investing nearly $157 million of their own resources into their renewable energy projects. He also says it will pay big dividends for agriculture in the future.

Its going to be creating new businesses that are going to, in this case, at full run, will create over 100,000 new, very well-paying jobs in the state of Florida for people to get into that industry” . Speaking to the Governor, Bronson said Its going to create, in my opinion right now, Governor, if we get this going at full course within the next five years or so, that agriculture will out pace any other industry in this state because were going to be worth 100 billion dollars more than we are today in agriculture alone and what we can produce to make biofuel programs for the state of Florida.

A total of 76 companies or organizations applied for the grants. This year the state budget is tight, but Governor Charlie Crist says the Farm to Fuel program may be too important to put on the chopping block.

This is not a place to cut back. This is so important to Florida and for us to continue to be an innovative economy and have the opportunity to make sure that were moving in a direction that helps agriculture, helps our industry, keeps Florida clean, produces more energy, and basically does the right things for the future of our state. said Crist.

The proposals were evaluated on including their use of Florida-grown crops or biomass to produce energy, and their potential to expand agribusiness in the state.

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