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Iowa Governor allocates millions to support biofuels industry

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has allocated approximately $100 million (€84.7 million) of federal CARES Act relief funds for a range of agricultural programmes to offset the impact of COVID-19 on farmers, producers, and agricultural industries.

A large portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding will directly support the biofuels industry. In a statement, Governor Reynolds said: “Iowa is at the foundation of our global food supply chain and the epicentre of the renewable fuels industry.

“COVID-19 and a devastating derecho dealt a major blow to everything from the demand for ethanol to the supply of meat on grocery store shelves. But just as important are the livelihoods of thousands of Iowa farm families, agricultural industries and the communities they support.

“Today’s investment reflects the critical role Iowa’s agricultural industry has in our state’s overall economic recovery.”

The allocated funds include $60 million (€50.8 million) to the Iowa Livestock Producer Relief Fund, $15.5 million (€13.1 million) to the State Biofuel Grant Programme; $7 million (€5.9 million) to the Renewable Fuel Retail Recovery Programme; $6 million (€5 million) to the Iowa Beginning Farmer Debt Relief Fund; $2 million (€1.69 million) to the Meat Processing Development and Expansion Programme; $500,000 (€423,000) to the Farm Produce and Protein Programme; up to $9 million (€7.6 million) to the Iowa Disposal Assistance Programme.

“Iowa exported more than $16 billion (€13.5 billion) in manufactured goods and agricultural products to 199 countries last year alone,” commented IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority executive director Debi Durham.

“The critical assistance Governor Reynolds announced today will support the continuation of Iowa’s long-standing legacy of agricultural excellence in our communities and throughout the world.”

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig added: “This has been a tough year for the agriculture community. I’m grateful that Governor Reynolds has been a strong advocate for the farmers and agribusinesses in our state.

“The programmes funded by the CARES Act will help our farmers, renewable fuels retailers and producers, and small meat processors respond to market disruptions and continue on the road to recovery.”