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Transition to a Bioeconomy: Environmental and Rural Development Impacts

October 15-16, 2008
Hyatt Regency at Union Station, St. Louis, Mo.

Environmental and rural development issues were the focus of the third conference in the series, Transition to a Bioeconomy.  Conference speakers examined how the emerging bioeconomy may impact domestic and global land use, water quality, jobs and local economies.  Other sessions focused on how the emerging bioeconomy may be shaped by green technologies, public policies or public attitudes.  A  conference proceedings is available.

The October 2008 conference was a collaboration of Farm Foundation, and USDA's Office of Energy Policy and New Uses,  Economic Research Service, Rural Development, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Brief summaries of some speakers' presentations are available. 

 Conference Proceedings

Wednesday, Oct. 15
Session 1: The Bioeconomy & The Environment
Biofuels & Carbon Emissions: A Policy Perspective
 Bill Hohenstein, USDA Global Change Program Office

Global Land Use Issues in the Bioeconomy
 John Reilly, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Impacts of the Renewable Fuels Standard
 Robert Larson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Markets for Environmental Services
 Jimmy Daukas, American Farmland Trust

Session 2: Rural Deveopment in the Bioeconomy
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and the Bioeconomy
 Andrew Isserman, University of Illinois

Impacts and Issues for Rural Development
Thomas Dorr, Under Secretary for Rural Development, USDA

Governance Issues for Rural Regions in the Bioeconomy
 Mark Drabenstott, Center for Regional Competitiveness, RUPRI

Noon program:  Public Perceptions of the Bioeconomy
Sara Wyant, Agri-Pulse Communications

Session 3: Resource Impacts of the Bioeconomy
Water Quality and Quantity Isses in the Bioeconomy
 Noel Gollehon, USDA Natural Resrouces Conservation Service

Meeting Biofule Targets in Illinois: Impliction for Land Use, GHG Emisions and Nitrogen Use
 Madhu Khanna, University of Illinois

How Land Use Changes Impact Capacities
 Steve Del Grosso, USDA Natural Resources Research Center

Session 4: Selected Papers
Lifecycle Carbon Footprint of Biofuels
 The Impact of GM Corn Traits in Biofuels
N. Kalaitzandonakes, James Kaufman, Seth Meyer and Wyatt Thompson, University of Missouri.

 Potential for Uncertainty about Indirect Effects of Ethanol on Land Use in the Case of Brazil
Wyatt Thompson, Seth Meyer and Pat Westhoff, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, University of Missouri

 Regulation of GHG emissions from biofuel blended energy
Deepak Rajagopal, Gal Hochman and David Zilberman, University of California, Berkeley

 The Impact of Ethanol Policy on Social Welfare and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Christine Lasco and Madhu Khanna, University of Illinois

 Trading Greenhouse Gas Emission Benefits from Biofuel Use in U.S. Transportation: Challenges and Opportunities
Subbu Kumarappan and Satish Joshi, Michigan State University

Water Quality, Land Use and Other Environmental Challenges of the Bioeconomy
 Weaning Off Corn: Crop Residues and the Transition to Cellulosic Ethanol
Scott Malcolm, USDA Economic Research ServiceWater

 Quality Effects of Corn Ethanol versus Switchgrass-Based Biofuels in the Midwest
Silvia Secchi of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; Philip W. Gassman, Manoj Jha, and Catherin L. Kling, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University; and Lyubov Kurkalova, North Carolina A&T University

 Changes in Farm Landscape with the Introduction of a Biomass Market
Michael Popp, Lanier Nalley and Gina Vickery, University of Arkansas

Jobs and Income for Rural Communities
 Local and Regional Economic Impacts of Biofuel Development
F. Larry Leistritz and Nancy Hodur, North Dakota State University

The Bioeconomy as a Long-Term Community Development Strategy
 Optimal Biomass Transportation and Biorefinery Locations in Illinois
Umit Deniz Tursun, Seungmo Kang, Hayri Onal, Yanfeng Ouyang, and Jürgen Scheffran, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Thursday, Oct. 16
Session 5: Green Technologies for Rural Regions
Technology, Research & Development for the Bioeconomy
 Steve Moose, Energy Biosciences Institute, University of Illinois

 The Pursuit of Biofuels from Animal Byproducts
Doug Lamond, Sanimax Energy

Pyrolysis, Biochar and Sustainabile Bioenergy Feedstock Production
 David Laird, USDA National Soil Tilth Laboratory

Session 6: Public Challenges for the Bioeconomy
The Honorable Ed Schafer, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Session 7: Local Opportunities & Challenges: The Next Decade
Financing the Growth of Cellulosic Ethanol
 Cole Gustafson, North Dakota State University

Integrating the Bioeconomy with Rural Regions and the Environment
Joe Black, Southern Financial Partners

What We Know and What We Need to Know
 Harry Baumes, USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses

The Transition to A Bioeconomy Conference Series
The nation’s rapid transition to a bioeconomy has significant implications for agriculture, the food system, rural communities and the global economy.   This series of conferences are deisgned to inventory current knowledge, highlight lessons learned to date, identify future possibilities and determine future information needs.  These conferences and the products produced from them will provide government, industry, academic and community leaders with objective information and analysis they can use to make more informed decisions related to the bioeconomy in the next decade.

The first conference in the series was Transition to a Bioeconomy: Integration of Agriculture and Energy Systems. Participants examined the impacts of a bioeconomy on farming systems, cropping patterns, by- and co-product markets and animal agriculture. Also discussed were the farming and energy systems that will be needed to support the cellulosic industry when that technolog becomes commercially viable.

The second conference, Transition to a Bioeconomy: Risk, Infrastructure and Industry Evolution, addressed such topics as financial issues, business environment, business models, and transportation needs. 

Additional conferences planned over the next two years are:

  • Implications of a Global Bioeconomy (2009)
  • Extension Education for a Bioeconomy (2009)

Farm Foundation has been a catalyst on bioenergy issues since June 2004, when it led the conference Agriculture as a Consumer and Producer of Energy.

Other conferences include:
Biofuels, Food and Feed Tradeoffs April 2007

Energy in Agriculture: Managing the Risk
 June 2006

Energy from Agriculture: New Technologies, Innovations and Success Stories
, December 2005






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