Kansas will receive $1.3 million in federal matching funds for the Kansas Better Blends Initiative, a program to increase the availability of ethanol-blended fuels to Kansas motorists.

The USDA Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership grant will be administered by the Kansas Department of Agriculture and implemented by the Kansas Corn Commission, according to a news release.

The $1.3 million in matching funds will build infrastructure for ethanol-blended fuels. Kansas is one of 21 states to receive USDA funding. The grant will allow the Kansas Better Blends Initiative (KBBI) to begin a substantial effort to help fuel retailers offer choices for higher ethanol blends to their customers.

The initiative was created by the Kansas Corn Commission along with Renew Kansas, which represents the state’s ethanol processors. KBBI partners also include the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission, United Sorghum Checkoff Program and ICM Inc.

“This is an excellent opportunity to give Kansas motorists more choices at the pump and increase the availability and use of our home-grown, clean ethanol fuel,” Kansas Corn Chief Executive Greg Krissek said. “Our groups behind KBBI have made a significant commitment to provide matching funds and in-kind services to bring more fuel choices to Kansas drivers.”

The Kansas Better Blends Initiative will provide awards that cover 90 percent of the cost of installation for blender pumps and 75 percent of the cost of E15 pumps that will provide higher-blend ethanol products.

In all, the USDA grant program is investing $210 million to strengthen the rural economy.