Agriculture’s need for and ability to produce energy was the subject of a June 24-25, 2004, conference sponsored by Farm Foundation and USDA’s Office of Energy Policy and New Uses. The conference, Agriculture as a Producer and Consumer of Energy, was the first major comprehensive examination of agriculture’s energy role in a decade. An executive summary is available.

Energy security issues have drawn more attention to agriculture's role in the nation's energy strategy. Policymakers are searching for ways to expanded domestic energy sources through the development of alternative fuels and energy-saving technologies. The 2002 Farm Bill was the first to include an energy title, aimed at expanding renewable energy supplies and increasing energy efficiency on U.S. farms.

A book has been published featuring papers and presentations from the conferences. Use this order form to purchase the book.

Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman opened the two-day conference, which drew energy industry executives, commodity leaders, agribusiness managers, economists and government leaders. Their task was to develop a roadmap to guide policymakers in the development of future private and public agricultural energy policies.

Conference speakers included the authors of four commissioned papers: Vern Eidman of the University of Minnesota, John Marinowski of Iowa State University, Otto Doering of Purdue University, and Kevin Lindemer, director of strategy and business development for Irving Oil Ltd. Other featured speakers included Keith Collins, Chief Economist, USDA; and C. Boyden Gray of the Energy Future Coalition. The program is available, as well as summaries of plenary session presentations.

The commissioned papers, and a number of selected papers, were the basis for conference discussions. Here are presentation summaries from the selected paper sessions.

For more information contact Dr. Steve A. Halbrook, (630) 571-9393 or steve@farmfoundation.org; or Dr. Joe Outlaw (979)-845-3062 or joutlaw@tamu.edu.