Posts filed under ‘biofuels’

How America’s Bioeconomy Can Clean the Planet

AMES, Iowa — Agriculture’s contribution to carbon footprinting and greenhouse gasses is pointed out in headlines from the Wall Street Journal to Successful Farming. But 12 Midwest universities are collaborating to host a virtual conference that rewrites the headlines and suggests that agriculture can clean the planet. In a collaborative effort the universities are offering “Growing the Bioeconomy: Solutions for Sustainability” on Dec. 1, 2009 to share how that might be done.

“This conference will be a day filled with presenters offering solutions for sustainability,” said Paul Brown, Iowa State University Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Assistant Director and conference chairperson. “Keynote speaker James Lovelock is one of the world’s most renowned thinkers on global environmental science. In his message, Dr. Lovelock calls upon farmers to convert agricultural residues to biochar for incorporation into the soil as the solution to global climate change.”

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=green+energy&iid=5097404″ src=”2/d/c/d/Potted_plant_with_53dc.jpg?adImageId=7654492&imageId=5097404″ width=”234″ height=”313″ /]

Lovelock’s presentation will be delivered via live feed to all participants. The morning plenary session will also include presentations by Johannes Lehmann, associate professor of soil fertility management and soil biogeochemistry at Cornell University and Matt Liebman, Wallace Chair for sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. Lehmann will discuss the combined benefit of biochar for carbon sequestration and improved soil fertility. Liebman will present research findings on integrating conservation with biofuel feedstock production.

“This is the seventh year Iowa State University has hosted a bioeconomy conference, but the first time ISU has collaborated with 11 other universities to simultaneously hold the conference,” said Brown. “Last year ISU conference participants came from 23 states and for the past few years other state universities have organized conferences with a biobased theme – it just made sense to form an alliance and work together instead of competing and repeating efforts.”

From Wyoming to Ohio and Minnesota to Kansas, universities will co-host conference sites and share content through high-speed communication systems. Participants have the option of attending a state sponsored site, signing on as a corporate location or logging into the conference from anyplace in the world. Iowa State University is managing the conference registration and virtual conference technology. Specific information about participation options and conference registration are available at http://www.bioeconomyconference.org/registration.

Conference co-hosts University of Nebraska (UN), Michigan State University (MSU), North Dakota State University (NDSU) and Purdue University are organizing and e-hosting the afternoon concurrent sessions. The session begins at 1 p.m. and offers two tracks – net greenhouse gas emission from biofuel systems, hosted by UN; and non-traditional feedstocks, hosted by MSU.  The second concurrent session begins at 3:30 and covers topics related to advances and breakthroughs in biofuels, hosted by NDSU; and bioenergy economic and policy issues, hosted by Purdue. All tracks have four speakers; speaker and topic details are available athttp://www.bioeconomyconference.org/speakers/session.htm.

In addition to previously mentioned institutions, conference partners include Kansas State University, Ohio State University, South Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin, University of Wyoming, North Central bioeconomy Consortium, and North Central Sun Grant Initiative. Additional conference information is available at http://www.bioeconomyconference.org/ .

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November 20, 2009 at 8:45 am

Growing the Bioeconomy: Solutions for Sustainability

The below news release was prepared by Iowa State University:

Agriculture’s contribution to carbon footprinting and greenhouse gasses is pointed out in headlines from the Wall Street Journal to Successful Farming. But 12 Midwest universities are collaborating to host a virtual conference that rewrites the headlines and suggests that agriculture can clean the planet. In a collaborative effort the universities are offering “Growing the Bioeconomy: Solutions for Sustainability” on Dec. 1, 2009 to share how that might be done.

[picapp src=”6/9/c/d/taxi_driver_filling_6a8e.jpg?adImageId=7084823&imageId=5063227″ width=”477″ height=”358″ /]

“This conference will be a day filled with presenters offering solutions for sustainability,” said Paul Brown, Iowa State University Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Assistant Director and conference chairperson. “Keynote speaker James Lovelock is one of the world’s most renowned thinkers on global environmental science. In his message, Dr. Lovelock calls upon farmers to convert agricultural residues to biochar for incorporation into the soil as the solution to global climate change.”

Lovelock’s presentation will be delivered via live feed to all participants. The morning plenary session will also include presentations by Johannes Lehmann, associate professor of soil fertility management and soil biogeochemistry at Cornell University and Matt Liebman, Wallace Chair for sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. Lehmann will discuss the combined benefit of biochar for carbon sequestration and improved soil fertility. Liebman will present research findings on integrating conservation with biofuel feedstock production.

“This is the seventh year Iowa State University has hosted a bioeconomy conference, but the first time ISU has collaborated with 11 other universities to simultaneously hold the conference,” said Brown. “Last year ISU conference participants came from 23 states and for the past few years other state universities have organized conferences with a biobased theme – it just made sense to form an alliance and work together instead of competing and repeating efforts.”

From Wyoming to Ohio and Minnesota to Kansas, universities will co-host conference sites and share content through high-speed communication systems. Participants have the option of attending a state sponsored site, signing on as a corporate location or logging into the conference from anyplace in the world. Iowa State University is managing the conference registration and virtual conference technology. Specific information about participation options and conference registration are available at http://www.bioeconomyconference.org/registration

Conference co-hosts University of Nebraska (UN), Michigan State University (MSU), North Dakota State University (NDSU) and Purdue University are organizing and e-hosting the afternoon concurrent sessions. The session begins at 1 p.m. and offers two tracks – net greenhouse gas emission from biofuel systems, hosted by UN; and non-traditional feedstocks, hosted by MSU.  The second concurrent session begins at 3:30 and covers topics related to advances and breakthroughs in biofuels, hosted by NDSU; and bioenergy economic and policy issues, hosted by Purdue. All tracks have four speakers; speaker and topic details are available at http://www.bioeconomyconference.org/speakers/session.htm

In addition to previously mentioned institutions, conference partners include Kansas State University, Ohio State University, South Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin, University of Wyoming, North Central bioeconomy Consortium, and North Central Sun Grant Initiative. Additional conference information is available at http://www.bioeconomyconference.org/

November 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Value-Added Producer Grants Available

The Rural Business-Cooperative Service of the USDA announces the availability competitive grant funds for fiscal year 2009 to help independent agricultural producers enter into value-added activities. Awards may be made for planning activities or for working capital expenses, but not for both. The maximum grant amount for a planning grant is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount for a working capital grant is $300,000.

Specifically, the grants may be used for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy. Eligible applicants are independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Please note that businesses of all sizes may apply, but priority will be given to Small and Medium-Sized Farms or Ranches that are structured as Family Farms. There is no restriction on the minimum grant size that will be awarded. In FY 2008, 31 percent of awards were $50,000 or less.

The following ideas are suggested for the use of the grant funds:

  • alternative uses of agricultural products
  • value-added processing of agricultural commodities to produce bio-materials (e.g. plastics, fiberboard)
  • green chemicals
  • functional foods (e.g. lutin enhanced ‘‘power bar’’ snacks, soy enhanced products)
  • nutraceuticals
  • on-farm renewable energy
  • biofuels (e.g. ethanol, biodiesel).

The FY2009 Value Added Producer Grants program opened on May 6, 2009 and the application deadline is July 6, 2009. For more information about the program, interested individuals are being asked to contact their State Rural Development Office to obtain additional information and assistance. A contact person, address, phone number, and e-mail address for each State Office is posted on this website http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm#jump. For Ohio, the contact list is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/oh/so-list.htm

May 21, 2009 at 7:30 am

Ohio Ag Manager Newsletter for December, 2008 Published

The Ohio Ag Manager e-Farm Management newsletter is now available. Current topics include:

  1. Flexible Cash Lease Calculator
  2. Story Marketing for Your Farm
  3. MarketMaker Linking Agricultural Markets
  4. COOL Implementation: The First 45 Days
  5. HogMonster.com? Online Employment Forums for the Hog Industry
  6. 2008 Ohio Survey of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Issues
  7. ACRE Publications Available
  8. Income Tax Management
  9. Commodity Programs and Biofuels Focus of Latest Choices Magazine

December 5, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Meeting Planned on Algae as an Alternative Energy Source

algae

Cladophora "bushy" alga; Source: Public domain

The seminar will be held at Vantage Career Center located at 818 N. Franklin St. in Van Wert, Ohio on Thursday, July 24 from 10 a.m. to noon with a boxed lunch immediately following.

The seminar will feature a presentation by Ross O. Youngs on “Algae Initiative: Growing Fuel, Technology & Jobs in Ohio”. Ross Youngs is an inventor and serial entrepreneur as well as former SBA National Business Person of the Year and CEO of the five-time Inc 500 Fastest Growing Company, Univenture, Inc. The presentation will describe how Ohio can effectively commercialize algae-based technologies that can be rapidly brought to market to add jobs, reduce petroleum dependency and increase economic activity. In addition to Mr. Youngs, Dr. Joseph Hager of The Edison Materials Technology Center (EMTEC) and Ron Erd, of Independence Bio Products, have been asked to speak about the science and application of algae energy and the economic impact it is expected to have. Following the presentations, there will be a Q&A and opportunity to network over lunch.

The Van Wert County OSU Extension Economic Development Group is excited to be working with Univenture, The Green Belt Coalition, EMTEC, and others to encourage the development and commercialization of algae-based technologies that will help to grow and diversify economies in our region. The seminar is free, however to get an accurate count for lunch, reservations are requested. Contact the OSU Extension Economic Development Office at 419-238-2999 to register, or register by e-mailing to: nbowen@vanwert.org. The deadline to register is Tuesday, July 22.

July 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm 7 comments

Ethanol Remains a Legitimate Biofuel

Ethanol has shouldered much of the blame for rising food prices, but in spite of this ethanol remains a legitimate biofuel. This podcast is excerpted from a thorough and well-written article on the biofuels industry by Mike Gastier, OSU Extension Educator, Huron County, Ohio. Mr. Gastier’s full article is available here.

July 15, 2008 at 1:00 pm

The Debate Over Whether Biofuels are Raising Food Prices

Stu Ellis, University of Illinois Extension, runs an outstanding blog called the farm gate. In a recent post, he writes about the debate over whether or not biofuels is causing an increase in food prices. I have heard the case against biofuels causing a rise in food prices prior to reading his post, but he does an excellent job of succinctly describing that biofuels cause very little increase in food prices. I recite an excerpt of Stu’s full article in this week’s podcast:

June 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm


Notice

This blog is no longer being maintained. Information on this blog may still be relevant, but for the latest agronomic information and farm management information please visit http://corn.osu.edu and http://ohioagmanager.osu.edu, respectively.

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