ACGA: Corn Growers, Farm Aid to sponsor renewable energy workshops
Ethanol, biodiesel, biomass and wind generated energy highlighted
Farm Aid President Willie Nelson and Keith Bolin, president of the American Corn Growers Association have announced their organizations' sponsorship and facilitation of a series of renewable energy and farm policy workshops slated for over a half dozen farm states this year.
The first installment of this year's Farm Aid/ACGA collaborative endeavors was an "open-to-the-public" workshop held at ACGA's annual convention on Jan. 15 in Coralville, Iowa. The event featured ethanol expert and pioneer David Blume and covered the fundamental concepts for setting up an Alcohol and Biofuel business for small and medium size farmers and entrepreneurs.
In line with its mission of keeping family farmers on their land to strengthen local and sustainable food production, Farm Aid recently granted 71 family farm groups across the country $552,500.
The grant from Farm Aid will assist ACGA in the underwriting of the workshops and facilitate presentations on the following topics;
--Overview of Bio-Diesel Production, Acceptance and Utilization,
--Overview of Pre-Feasibility Study Guide for Farmer-Owned Ethanol Plants,
--Wind Energy--New Potentials for Rural Communities,
--Overview of Federal Programs Available for Renewable Energy Production, and
--How Renewable Energy Production Can Be an Essential Component to Better Farm Policy.
"Our goal is to ensure we improve our continuing endeavor to communicate, educate and advocate the opportunities, challenges and possibilities for energy production on U.S. family farms," said Bolin. "This will include issues relating to biodiesel, ethanol, bio-mass, wind and other farm based energy producing possibilities."
The funds will support innovative programs that help farm families stay on their land, increase production of family farm food and expand local markets. Funds will also support efforts to increase on-farm renewable energy production, confront the threat of increasing corporate control of agriculture, as well as hotlines and advocacy efforts that help farm families recover from disasters and financial hardships. Included in this grant cycle, Farm Aid provided $53,200 to disaster response, supporting the ongoing effort to help farm families fully recover form last year's devastating hurricanes along the Gulf Coast.
Much of the money raised by Farm Aid this year was the result of its 23rd Anniversary concert Farm Aid 2008 held Sept. 20 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass.
"Farm Aid is proud to support so many creative efforts around the country to expand opportunities for family farmers," said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson. "We're all working together to support good food from family farms." To learn more about Farm Aid, and see the full list of 2008 grantees, visit their website at www.farmaid.org call 1-800-FARM-AID.