Peanut Growers Hear About Ethanol and Biomass

Cindy Zimmerman

Southern peanut producers meeting in Panama City Beach last week heard about ethanol and producing energy on a local level.

Growth Energy representative Dennis Weise talked to the farmers about how they can advocate for domestically produced energy by getting involved.

“We have to get outside of the corn belt now, so it’s important that we talk to folks from the southeast United States, the southwest and everywhere else,” said Weise. He talked about the advertising and promotion efforts Growth Energy has undertaken and he encouraged the farmers to join Growth Force. “We need advocates for our industry,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s their industry as well.”

Listen to or download an interview with Weise at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference here: Dennis Wiese Interview

Taking renewable energy to a more local level was Steve Flick of Show Me Energy Cooperative in western Missouri, which is a non-profit, producer owned cooperative founded to support the development of renewable biomass energy sources.

Flick says they have shown that farmers can produce renewable energy on a local level and peanut farmers in the southeast can do the same thing. “They do have marginal land in Georgia and Alabama, not interfering with their peanut production, they can actually utilize that marginal land to create energy like we’re doing at Show Me,” he said. “I told them ‘You are in control of your own destiny’ so if you feel like energy is important to you, you can develop a group of farmers and learn how to operate and build a plant like we did.” The plant produces pellets from biomass that the co-op members use to heat their homes and poultry barns in the winter.

Flick also says that Show Me will have a big announcement coming in September about building a combined heat and power plant on their site in west central Missouri. “Now we’ve become a game-changer by creating our own electrical load for our own power supply right there in our own backyard,” he added.

Listen to or download an interview with Flick here: Steve Flick Interview

Audio, biomass, Ethanol, Growth Energy