We’ve all heard the messages broadcast by environmentalists and conservationists: protect the Earth or else. We’ve also all likely heard about the types of pollution that cause the most damage and that need to be addressed first in an environmental triage of sorts. For instance, replacing the burning of fossil fuels with renewable energy will create a really big bang for our collective buck when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lessening the effects of global climate change.

You’ve likely heard all of this, but it’s much less likely that you have heard about it in conjunction with the USDA. Generally, we associate government organizations like the EPA—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—with renewable energy, not the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA!

However, the USDA does have a hand in the investment for renewable energy options for a number of reasons. To start with, the USDA backs the farmers and other Ag producers who grow the crops that create American-grown biofuels, and those producers are breaking records with the volume of renewable biofuels they are producing. Additionally, the USDA is offering the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership, which offers $100 million towards clean energy infrastructure through State-matched competitive grants. The focus will be to find and test new ways to distribute higher blends of renewable fuels, such as gas pumps that will deliver a higher ratio of biofuel than the current maximum of 10 percent ethanol. Such efforts will increase markets for farmers, support rural economic growth and create jobs, all while offer consumers more affordable options for protecting the Earth.

It’s just part of the USDA’s efforts to support Ag producers, create jobs and generate a strong clean energy economy in rural America! If you haven’t lately, go investigate the USDA’s website, blogs and social media accounts to see the good works they are accomplishing.