As USDA continues to roll out energy programs contained in the 2008 Farm Bill, more producers are expressing their interests in better understanding of renewable energy, reaching out to us to find out how to make informed decisions and decide if there are opportunities for them. Opportunities that include producing biomass for renewable energy, producing renewable energy, reducing energy costs, and developing a new and sustainable farm income source.
If landowners, farmers, producers, ranchers, and foresters are thinking about it, then the best way to find out more about these opportunities is to attend the Renewable Energy Biomass Education Field Days event in Knoxville, Tennessee from November 16-18. This event, sponsored by the Farm Foundation, is the first of a planned series of regional events and is targeted to the 12 state southeast region. There is no registration fee and a limited number of travel scholarships are available. Representatives from five USDA agencies will be in attendance, including Rural Development, the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Forest Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
This is not your ordinary renewable energy conference. This event has specifically been designed as an education Field Day—a hands-on opportunity for producers, landowners and land managers to gain practical, science-based information about implementing biomass-based renewable energy technologies on the land resources they need to make decisions about implementing renewable energy technologies in their respective operations. There will be a time to meet with experts and ask their probing questions.
In addition, the program includes a tour of and a case study of the DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol Plant, which is located nearly.
The event is free but space is limited, so participants must register. For more information and to find out about producer travel scholarships, contact the Farm Foundation at 630-571-9393 or go to its website www.farmfoundation.org. I look forward to meeting you in Knoxville.