Commonwealth Policy Papers


Following state level development of a new spent grain incentive system, leading to KY House Bill 627 in 2022, CPC’s Congressional Summit dialogue considered initial components and possibilities for designing an incentive to upcycle “keystone” organic wastes in regional economies across the US. For member offices, a set of general recommendations are provided for a national spent-grain upcycling incentive pilot program. It is suggested that staff of the Bourbon caucus consult with the references in this briefing and USDA Rural Development to consider further development of an incentive program in the reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

It is further urged that Congress act within Farm Bill re-authorization with an amendment, to direct and budget the USDA to promulgate such a federal pilot incentive on spent grain. Such a pilot program may serve as a key step in optimizing a broader federal approach to support partnerships across the U.S. between businesses producing organic wastes, businesses upcycling those wastes, and those developing technology to transfer for the same ends.

A pilot program with spent grain would offer more direct benefit to distillers, brewers, ethanol producers, and associated upcycling companies including renewable biogas producers, feed developers, and developers of bio-products and value-added products. Improved incentives would further bring these innovators together in Kentucky, and across the states, where current partnerships are demonstrating mutual gains that can be built upon more rapidly especially if greater support exists to overcome initial capital.