Golden Grain Energy in Mason City lands $2.2 million USDA grant to increase ethanol availability

MASON CITY — The US Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday a $2.2 million grant to a Mason City ethanol producer to increase the availability of domestic biofuels and give Americans additional cleaner fuel options at the pump.

USDA Rural Development Senior Advisor Cindy Axne says the money will be used to expand capacity at Golden Grain Energy and to make sure that more homegrown biofuels are being sold.   “This is a great opportunity for a local business to be able to invest, to get the funding that’s necessary to grow, to increase jobs and to sell more across the country. This is just a great announcement for this area because it will bring so much economic viability throughout the years because of this investment.”

Axne says the funding comes from the USDA’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive. “We’re making sure that across the country folks that want to help us move the agenda forward on addressing climate change, on making sure that we grow local economies, on making sure that we protect our soil and our natural resources and lower dollars at the pump, those are the kind of businesses that the President and Secretary Vilsack are looking at for this funding.”

The announcement is part of a larger national announcement detailing $5 billion in support for projects in rural America as part of President Biden’s “Investing in America” efforts to rebuild the physical infrastructure of the country and better position rural America to compete in a global economy. “We’ve seen so much going on in regard to food security, food supply chains, and this is part of that whole process of ensuring that we can thrive in America by producing our own goods, by making sure that we’re making our natural resources to support our economic agenda here in Iowa and in other rural places across the country.”

Axne also announced that Pilot Travel Centers LLC is receiving nearly a $482,000 grant through the same Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive program to expand the sale of renewable fuels with the funding to be divided between locations in 16 states, including Iowa.