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Wisconsin Ag News Headlines
State Biodiesel Group Calls New State Budget a 'Shot in the Arm'
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/30/2007

Many state agencies, governmental divisions and school districts may have been hurt by the long-awaited state budget process this fall, but one group says the wait was worth it. According to the Wisconsin Biodiesel Association, the passage of the 2007-09 state budget brings with it a $26 million renewable energy package that goes a long way toward making Wisconsin competitive in the area of biodiesel fuels.

The WBA, along with the Wisconsin Soybean Association and Landmark Services Cooperative applauded Governor Doyle and the Legislature for their support of measures in the budget, which includes incentives for the distribution of biodiesel, a $4 million grant toward the development of a soybean crushing facility and an income tax credit for biodiesel producers in Wisconsin.

"We are thrilled that the Legislature has made such a significant commitment to the biodiesel industry in Wisconsin," said John Blaska, president of the Landmark Services Cooperative Board of Directors. "Thanks to the dedication of Governor Doyle and the efforts of State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, State Rep. Brett Davis, and State Sen. Bob Jauch, we are now one significant step closer to bringing Wisconsin's first soybean crushing facility to Evansville."

Landmark recently announced it will match any investment made by the state toward a soybean crushing facility in Evansville, up to $4 million. The addition of a soybean crushing plant will add substantial value to the state's agricultural endeavors by cutting transportation costs and increasing soybean production, potentially bringing Wisconsin an additional $235 million in revenue and savings.

WSA Director Bob Karls says Wisconsin soybean farmers have been working for 15 years to bring a soybean processing facility to the state. While Wisconsin is the 13th largest soybean producer in the country, it is the only one of these states without its own soybean processing facility.

"It is difficult to envision a more concrete example of the way in which Governor Doyle's pursuit of a renewable energy bio-industry could create more positive economic impact for the state," said Jeff Pieterick, president of the Wisconsin Biodiesel Association. "The passage of this renewable energy package provides substantial infrastructure that supports the bottom line for agricultural producers throughout Wisconsin."

The Wisconsin Biodiesel Association was founded in December of 2006 and is a membership trade organization that promotes the commercial development, production, marketing, distribution and utilization of biodiesel and other renewable biofuels.

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