In addition to REAP, USDA also offers additional funding to help farmers install an anaerobic digester as part of their manure management system. Funding is provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Environmental Quality Incentive Program.
Anaerobic digesters like the one the Secretary toured are in concert with an agreement with U.S. dairy producers signed by the Secretary in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009 to accelerate adoption of innovative manure to energy projects on American dairy farms. Since the MOU was signed, the Obama Administration has provided 149 digester awards to eligible applicants.
With the Memorandum of Understanding, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy - part of the Dairy Management Inc. - the USDA and U.S. dairy producers are working together to reach a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020. USDA will do so by undertaking research initiatives, allowing implementation flexibility, and enhancing marketing efforts of anaerobic digesters and energy efficiency improvements to dairy producers.
As part of the effort, a Renewable Energy Education Field Day webinar series on Digester Technology and Financing was conducted in partnership with the Farm Foundation, NFP, USDA, US EPA, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative of the University of Wisconsin.