NEWS RELEASE Committed to the future of rural communities . United States Department of Agriculture • Rural Development 375 Jackson St. • Suite 410 • St. Paul, Minn. 55101 Phone: (651) 602-7800 • Fax: (651) 602-7826 • Web: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn Contact: Adam Czech, Public Information Coordinator Phone: (651) 602-7799 (office); (320) 309-1160 (cell) E-mail: email@example.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE National USDA Official Awards $300,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to MinnErgy, Inc. Grant will provide start-up capital for future ethanol plant in area EYOTA, Minn., Sept. 19 – A 50 million gallon per day ethanol plant set to be built in Eyota received a boost today from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency. Al Johnson, the Senior Advisor to Rural Development Under Secretary Thomas C. Dorr in Washington D.C., visited Eyota today to award MinnErgy a $300,000 value-added producer grant (VAPG). MinnErgy will use the grant to cover start-up costs and provide working capital for the ethanol plant, which is scheduled to begin construction in May of 2008 and be finished in the fall of 2009. “This project will create jobs and spur economic development in the Eyota and the surrounding area,” Johnson said. “Minnesota is a leader in renewable fuels and has achieved success through our value-added program. I want to congratulate everyone at MinnErgy for this award.” Johnson also announced 11 other VAPG recipients in Minnesota totaling over $2.6 million. Nationally, $22.7 million for 162 projects was awarded. Since the VAPG program’s inception in 2002, Minnesota has received over $9 million. Value-Added Producer Grants may be used for planning activities or to provide working capital to market value-added agricultural products and farm-based renewable energy projects. A valueadded product is created when a producer takes an agricultural commodity, such as milk or vegetables, and processes or prepares it in a way that increases its value to consumers. Rural Development has committed more than $158 million to value-added agricultural investments since 2001. “The VAPG program has been a major success story here in Minnesota,” said Steve Wenzel, State Director of Rural Development in Minnesota. “I am glad Mr. Johnson had the opportunity to visit MinnErgy and personally award today’s grant. I look forward to seeing this ethanol plant when it is completed.” Since 2001, USDA Rural Development has invested over $4.5 billion throughout rural Minnesota. For more information, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov, or call the local office in Faribault at (507) 332-7418, or Austin at (507) 437-8247. “USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.” th To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14 and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD).