Energy From Agriculture: New Technologies, Innovative Programs and Success Stories

The conference, Energy from Agriculture: New Technologies, Innovative Programs and Success Stories, featured economic research findings and first-hand energy production experiences.  An executive summary is available.  The conference was Dec. 14-15, 2005 in St. Louis, Mo.

Presented by Farm Foundation and USDA’s Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, this conference provided farmers and ranchers, rural community leaders, energy executives and state and regional government officials with practical, science-based information on agriculture’s role in energy production. USDA’s Office of Rural Development and Natural Resources Conservation Service also helped sponsor this event.

Agriculture’s role in energy production is garnering increased attention as consumers, business leaders and government leaders struggle with crude oil over $60 a barrel, gasoline prices climbing toward the $3 mark and implementation of the new Energy Policy Act of 2005.  This conference provided a comprehensive picture of the current knowledge on the economics of energy production from agriculture.

This conference updated and expanded work presented at the 2004 conference, Agriculture As A Consumer and Producer of Energy.

Session I.  An Economic Assessment of Current Technologies
Agriculture as a Producer of Energy
Vernon Eidman, University of Minnesota, Paper, Figures and Presentation

Future of Refining Agricultural Biomass
Robert C. Brown, Iowa State University, Paper and Presentation

Information Technology in the Ethanol Industry
Anthony Crooks, Rural Development, USDA, Paper and Presentation

Session II.  Ethanol, Coproducts and Market Impacts
Comparative Advantage in Ethanol Production: U.S. Grain Versus Sugar
Hosein Shapouri, OEPNU, USDA, Presentation

Feed and Alternative Uses for DDGs
Gerald Shurson and Sally Noll, University of Minnesta, Paper and Presentation

Aggregate Market Impacts in Food and Agricultural Markets
Bruce Babcock, CARD, Iowa State University, Presentation

Session III.  Energy Production from Non-Traditional Feedstocks
Agricultural/Renewable Contributions to U.S. Electricity Usage
Otto Doering, Purdue University, Paper and Presentation

Nonagricultural Sources of Biomass
Marie Walsh, University of Tennessee, Paper, Figures and Presentation

Cellulosic Ethanol Technology Assessment
Rodney Bothast, National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center, Paper and Presentation

Session IV.  USDA Energy Program Review – Part 1 – NRCS Programs
Overview of NRCS Role in Energy: A Focus on Energy Conservation
Bruce Knight, NRCS Chief

NRCS Programs Supporting Energy Conservation
Thomas Christensen, Deputy Chief for Programs, NRCS, Presentation

Conservation Practices and Potential Energy Savings
Lawrence Clark, Deputy Chief for Science and Technology, NRCS, Presentation

Session V.  USDA Energy Program Review – Part 2
Rural Development Programs
Bill Hagy, Rural Development, USDA, Presentation

Session VI – Success Stories
Chair, Tom Dorr, Deputy Secretary for Rural Development, USDA
Ethanol Plant,
David Kolsrud, Agri-Energy LLC, Minnesota, Presentation

Wind Turbine
Paul and Alice Neppel, Neppel Farms Inc., Iowa, Presentation

Biomass Electric Facility
Robert Worsley, Renegy, Inc. and Matthew James, Comerica Bank, Arizona, Presentation

Methane Digestion System
Darryl Vander Haak, Vander Haak Dairy, Washington, Presentation

Session VII – Energy Legislation: Perspectives and Opportunities
Chair: Tom Dorr, Deputy Secretary for Rural Development, USDA, Presentation
Larry Schafer, Renewable Fuels Association, Presentation
James R. Rischer, U.S. Department of Energy, Presentation
Jim Gulliford, EPA, Kansas City, Presentation

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