Transition to a Bioeconomy: Part III

John Davis

In just about a week and a half, government officials, bioenergy experts and leaders in the private industry will gather in St. Louis, Mo., for the third in a series of conferences sponsored by the Farm Foundation addressing the issues facing rural areas as they move to a bioeconomy.

Michael Popp, professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Arkansas, is one of the coordinators for the Transition to a Bioeconomy: Environmental and Rural Development Impacts conference, Oct. 15th-16th at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at Union Station.

“The purpose of the conference is to provide an unbiased presentation of issues that are going to affect us in agriculture and otherwise as we transition to a bioeconomy.”

Popp defines the bioeconomy as the complex supply chain associated with providing the agricultural feedstocks, including biomass, to turn into fuel. He includes solar and wind energy in that definition as well.

Among those attending the conference will be U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer, who will address public policy challenges for the bioeconomy and USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas Dorr.

Popp says with the this particular conference will talk about rural development issues and the environmental factors, especially for the second-generation biofuels plants. And he says he expects
a good turnout for this more centrally-located conference.

“[Those] who should attend would be the financial community that might be asked to provide loans to these kinds of biofuels investments, rural development people – be that from municipal, state or federal governments, and finally, academia and industry to get more information on what’s truly out there and going on.”

There’s still time to sign up to attend the conference. Click here for more information, and I’ll see you in St. Louis!

To hear more of Cindy’s interview with Michael Popp, click here: [audio:]

biomass, Energy, Environment, Ethanol, Farm Foundation, News