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News Release

Release No. 0216.08
Contact:
Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384
Dane Henshall (202) 260-0996

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USDA Rural Development to Hold Public Meeting on Farm Bill Renewable Energy Provisions

WASHINGTON, August 20, 2008 - Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr today announced that a public meeting will be held on Sept. 4, 2008-in conjunction with USDA's Farm Service Agency and Forest Service-on how to implement renewable energy programs authorized under the recently enacted farm bill.

"Continuing to develop renewable energy is a key component of President Bush's strategy to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil," Dorr said. "This meeting is an opportunity for business owners, citizens and agricultural producers to discuss the best ways to harness the untapped renewable energy resources in rural areas."

USDA plans to implement the farm bill's energy provisions in consultation with the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies.

The meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT) in the Jefferson Auditorium in the South Building, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. Registration will start at 8:00 a.m. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, but not required.

If you wish to speak or make a presentation at the meeting, please contact Robin Robinson at: USDA Rural Development, Room 5803 South Building, Mail Stop 3201, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-3201; (202) 690-4730; mailto:robin.robinson@wdc.usda.gov. Further information on the meeting can be obtained from the Federal Register: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register

USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development has invested nearly $91 billion since 2001 for equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. More than 1.7 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.