The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Today, Rep. Ron Kind introduced the bipartisan Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act, which would provide tax incentives to farmers and rural electric cooperatives who invest in biogas technology. Rep. Kind was joined in introducing this legislation by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY).

“Wisconsin’s dairy farmers are the heart of our state economy, contributing $45.6 billion to it each year,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “We need to ensure our farmers have the tools they need to continue to grow their businesses and create jobs. Providing these tax incentives is a commonsense way to make pursuing biogas technology more affordable for Wisconsin dairy farmers, helping to reduce their energy costs all while protecting our natural resources.”

“The bipartisan Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act recognizes the value that biogas systems can have for dairy producers of all sizes as they continuously improve their sustainability nationwide,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF. “This new investment tax credit also incorporates nutrient recovery technologies, which can transform manure into fertilizer for crops and bedding for cows. These technologies are important, but expensive. This bill will help farmers incorporate these new technologies into their operations, for the benefit of everyone.”

“Sustainable manure management is just one example of how the agriculture sector is delivering innovative climate solutions. Digester and nutrient recovery technologies can reduce methane emissions, improve soil fertility and water quality, and directly benefit a producer’s bottom line. Yet, the upfront costs to install these technologies often impede adoption. We applaud Representatives Kind and Reed for reintroducing legislation that would make biogas and nutrient recovery systems more affordable,” said the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance.

"The ABC applauds the continued leadership of Congressmen Ron Kind (D-WI-03) and Tom Reed (R-NY-23) in recognizing the sustainable agricultural benefits provided by biogas systems and nutrient recovery technologies. The reintroduction of the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act will spur deployment of these systems which will in turn foster cleaner air and water while providing greater economic opportunities to agricultural producers. This legislation will provide a real boost to the agricultural economy," said Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the American Biogas Council (ABC).

The Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act promotes investment by allowing biodigesters to qualify for an energy tax credit that is on-par with the 30% tax credit for solar energy. This will allow for Wisconsin dairy farms to finally have affordable access installation of biodigesters on their farms, significantly reducing the upfront cost. Farms will now be able to use digesters or other biological, chemical, thermal, or mechanical processes to make biogas that is at least 52% methane, adding an immediate new revenue stream and dramatically decreasing pollution and runoff.

This bill is also included in the comprehensive Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act, which would help address climate change by promoting the use of green energy technologies and invest in Wisconsin’s workforce by creating new energy credits for manufacturers and bolstering stable, clean, good-paying jobs.

To help secure the future of Wisconsin Dairy, Rep. Kind also recently unveiled his Family Farm Action Plan. Rep. Kind’s comprehensive plan would support hardworking family farmers and help Wisconsin’s dairy industry continue to build a bright future.

Rep. Kind serves on the Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful - and the oldest - committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over tax measures, the management of public debt, trade and tariff laws, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and many other economic growth measures.