Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  This week, South Dakota State University Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School Dr. Kevin Kephart presented an award to Senator John Thune in recognition of his leadership in reauthorizing the Sun Grant Initiative in the 2008 Farm Bill. Under the Sun Grant Initiative, South Dakota State University is actively studying and researching the development of cellulosic ethanol to improve and expedite production technologies.

"Second generation biofuels like cellulosic ethanol will play a major role in reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy," said Thune. "The Sun Grant program helps SDSU reinforce its reputation as one of the leading institutions for biofuel research. The funding for the program authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill ensures that this vital research will move forward. I look forward to continuing my work with Dr. Kephart and others at SDSU as this initiative moves forward."

The 2008 Farm Bill also includes Senator Thune's Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which provides incentives for the production of cellulosic feedstocks and the construction of second generation biorefineries.

In 2005, Thune secured $50 million for bio-based transportation research for the Sun Grant Initiative ($8.3 million for SDSU) as part of the five-year Transportation reauthorization bill (SAFETEA-LU).