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james turner

USDA Funded Digester Reduces Pollution, Powers 1,500 Michigan Homes

USDA Rural Development Michigan State Director James Turner joined Senator Debbie Stabenow and local officials this summer in celebrating the opening of the largest commercial-scale anaerobic digester in the United States.

The Fremont Community Digester is an ambitious new use of a proven technology.  Once used chiefly in farms, anaerobic digesters are now coming into their own.

The facility will convert organic waste products – such as farm and food waste – and process it into biogas.  Approximately 1,500 local families will derive their power from this previously untapped energy source.

With USDA Support, a Michigan Commercial-Scale Renewable Energy Project Moves Forward

Michigan always has unpredictable weather, and Friday’s was exactly what one would expect – unexpected.  I’m sure when they scheduled the groundbreaking for the Fremont community anaerobic digester, NOVI Energy assumed that late June would see warm weather and clear skies.  Instead, the temperature was in the low 60s with scattered rain. This is no doubt why NOVI Energy also put up two large tents. Weather aside, the groundbreaking event was a huge success.

USDA and The Recovery Act Funds a Michigan Treatment Facility

Recently I attended a presentation and groundbreaking near Midland, Michigan, for a unique USDA Rural Development Community Facilities project:  A residential treatment center for the Ten Sixteen Recovery Network.

This is an unusual type of project for our agency.  Our community facility projects tend to involve a police car, fire truck or township hall.  Several people at the event (including news reporters) remarked on this.  I pointed out that while a project of this kind may be uncommon, there is nothing usual about it being considered.  Fire trucks and police cars tend to dominate community facilities because these tend to be the applications we receive.

USDA Official Hails Michigan Project to Improve Water Quality in Lake Huron

Earlier this month we were honored to have Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture Doug O’Brien join USDA Rural Development Michigan State Director James J. Turner at our Earth Day ceremony in Buena Vista Township.  The township board of trustees was there and Township Supervisor Dwayne A. Parker served as our master of ceremonies.

Locally known as “BV Township,” Buena Vista is located next to Saginaw and like many rural communities, its sewer infrastructure was in a state of disrepair when they approached USDA for help.

USDA Guaranteed Loans Give A Michigan Auto Parts Supplier The Ability to Add New Jobs

Michigan has lost tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs over the last few years, so it’s always nice to celebrate an occasion when we add jobs to this sector.

Earlier this week, USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner announced two guaranteed loans totaling $7,785,000 that will enable Skilled Manufacturing, Inc., a Traverse City manufacturing firm to hire 75 new workers.