The U.S.D.A. wants the biofuels industry to grow to 36 billion gallons in the next 10 years and the department’s state director of rural development says his organization will dedicate the month of April to developing innovative biofuels technology. Bill Menner says Iowa will play a large role in the expansion of the industry.

“Here in Iowa biofuels have a whole different meaning,” Menner says, “We are kind of the hub for innovation. Of course, we were the hub for the development of ethanol. We’re also the hub for the development of second and third generation biofuels. So this month has particular meaning for us.” Menner says Iowa will play a huge part in the industry’s expansion as the state goes after more U.S.D.A. funding.

“We’re confident there are projects out there in Iowa, we have already heard from a few of them that are thinking about applying. The key to them is using the technology and innovation that already exists in rural Iowa to move them forward,“ Menner said.

Menner says over the last 10 years, 30 biofuels businesses in Iowa have received U.S.D.A. funding totaling more than $55-million.