Saturday, October 11, 2008

Conference to examine impact on environment, development of transition to a bioeconomy

The nation’s rapid transition to a bioeconomy has significant implications for agriculture, the food system and rural communities. Farm Foundation is holding a series of conferences to highlight lessons learned, future possibilities and future information needs. The third in the series, Oct. 15 and 16 at the Hyatt Regency at Union Station in St. Louis, will focus on environmental and rural development issues in the bioeconomy.

Speakers will include Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer and Undersecretary for Rural Development Thomas Dorr; Robert Larson of the Environmental Protection Agency, speaking on impacts of the Renewable Fuels Standard; Andy Isserman of the University of Illinois, on jobs in the bioeconomy; Mark Drabenstott of the Rural Policy Research Institute's Center for Regional Competitiveness, on governance issues for rural regions; Noel Gollehon of the Natural Resources and Conservation Service, on water issues; Cole Gustafson of North Dakota State University on financing the growth of cellulosic energy; and Joe Black of South Financial Partners, on integrating the bioeconomy with rural regions and the environment. Several others are on the program.

Conference registration is available online or by printing out the registration form and returning it to Farm Foundation with registration payment. Conference registration fee is $300. The fee is waived for media representatives, but they are asked to register. The room block at the Hyatt has closed, but the special conference rate of $155 plus tax will apply if rooms are available. Contact the Hyatt at 314-231-1234 or 800-233-1234, or check room availability and reserve online by clicking here.

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