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USDA Employees Receive 2011 Support for Agriculture Award

USDA Employees Receive 2011 Support for Agriculture Award

USDA Employees Receive 2011 Support of Agriculture Award

Senator Sanders presents Bob Thompson of NRCS and Cheryl Ducharme of RD with the 2011 Support of Agriculture Award

BURLINGTON, VT, May 6, 2011 � Two Vermont USDA employees were honored at the Federal Executive Association annual awards celebration by receiving 2011 Support of Agriculture award. Bob Thompson from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Cheryl Ducharme from Rural Development (RD) were nominated for their efforts to partner across agency lines to improve communication and coordination for the installation of methane digesters. Both NRCS and RD provide funding and technical support for anaerobic methane digesters in Vermont. The event was attended by Senators Leahy and Sanders and Governor Shumlin. Senator Sanders personally presented this award to Thompson and Ducharme.

Methane digesters are important to the USDA mission because the technology can create numerous environmental benefits. Some of these benefits include capturing biogas for energy production, greenhouse gas reduction (capturing and utilizing the methane), managing/reducing odors, reducing pathogens (water quality benefit), and production of byproducts (animal bedding).

Thompson and Ducharme have worked diligently to form a partnership between the two government agencies on this effort, and the successes that have resulted have received national recognition by both agencies. This working relationship is often touted by USDA leadership as a model of cooperation that should be adopted in all states.

Contact: NRCS: Mary Sturgeon, 802-951-6795 � RD: Marie Ferris, 802-828-6080