Agricultural production capacity, as well as transportation, storage, and marketing infrastructure for alternative biomass feedstocks and other renewable energy sources often presents challenges. In some cases, farmers and ranchers can find themselves at a disadvantage, operating in a knowledge vacuum as they encounter developers moving to position themselves for future energy development.
Michael Siepel’s project provided training on selected alternative energy topics, emphasizing interconnections between livestock production, renewable energy, and energy conservation. With 107 attendees, the first annual conference featured 13 speakers addressing grassy biomass, woody biomass, wind energy, financing bioenergy projects, and case studies of bioenergy enterprises. A second conference with 70 attendees addressed oilseeds for biofuels, anaerobic digestion/methane capture from livestock manure, algae for biofuel, biomass feedstocks handling, and bioenergy policy, with 12 presenters and six additional demonstrations or exhibits. A follow-up survey demonstrated the most utilized topic areas were grassy biomass, wind energy, anaerobic digesters/methane capture, alternative oilseeds, and bioenergy policy.
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