Speaking at a key note event at the climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced an agreement between USDA and U.S. dairy farmers. Vilsack said this historic agreement will help accelerate the development of manure to energy systems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"The U.S. dairy industry has committed to a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas by the year 2020," Vilsack said during a press briefing. "USDA can support this goal through program modifications, added program enhancements, and better marketing of anaerobic digesters to dairymen. Today's agreement will make many far reaching steps and common sense improvements to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with dairies."
Vilsack says USDA will look for ways to fund nutrient management components of a digester system with conservation funds and the electricity generation components with renewable energy dollars. The Secretary promised to look for improvements such as adjusting the timing of program awards to better match construction seasons and reducing the time needed to get digester projects completed. He also said they will step up efforts in researching ways that greenhouse gas emissions associated with dairies can be reduced.
To listen to Vilsack's briefing use the audio player above.