Purdue News

November 9, 2006

Agriculture takes center stage at bioeconomy symposium

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — With Indiana agriculture at the forefront of a new bioeconomy in the United States, Purdue's Vice Provost for Engagement Victor Lechtenberg has organized a symposium to discuss the use of agricultural products for a more sustainable source of energy.

The Nov. 14 symposium at the Sagamore 3 ballroom of the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis is part of the annual five-day meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America, which runs Nov. 12-16.

Featured will be several speakers representing academia, industry and government. Speakers will participate in a panel discussion that will report on opportunities and setbacks in developing agriculture as a bio-based energy source.

"The symposium will present a discussion about how we focus on the technology to transition from petroleum-based energy sources to more renewable resources," Lechtenberg said.

Throughout the day, attendees will discuss the potential for bioenergy to provide growers with additional income, reduce farm subsidies, expand the rural industrial base and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Speakers and their topics are as follows:

• Chuck Connor, deputy Secretary of Agriculture — opening remarks.

• Kevin Kephart, South Dakota State University — "The Society and the New Bioeconomy."

• Marie Walsh, University of Tennessee — "Economic and Agronomic Implications of Developing a Biobased Industry."

• David Bransby, Department of Agronomy and Soils—"Potential Role of Biomass Crops in America's Energy Future."

• Members of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service — "Crop Residue as Feedstock for the New Bioeconomy: Opportunities and Roadblocks."

• Stephen Myers, Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center — How the center seeks to integrate academia and industry toward development of renewable specialty materials.

In addition to the symposium speakers, the five-day meeting also will include thousands of scientists from around the world presenting papers on topics such as climate change, urban planning, crop production, hazardous waste, human health, bioenergy and more.

Those in attendance primarily will be representatives of academia, including graduate and undergraduate students, researchers and retirees; industry professionals and government officials.

For more information on registering for the meetings or to learn more about topics and speakers, visit the program Web site or the symposium page. Inquiries also may be directed to Sara Uttech at (608) 268-4948 or suttech@agronomy.org through Nov. 10, or (317) 262-1967 throughout the meetings.

Writer: Jennifer Stewart, (765) 494-6682, jsstewar@purdue.edu

Sources: Victor Lechtenberg, (765) 494-9095, vll@purdue.edu

Sara Uttech, (608) 268-4948, suttech@agronomy.org

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
Agriculture News Page

Note to Journalists: Members of the media are invited to attend the presentations, panel discussions and full scientific program of the following meetings. A pressroom will be available. For complimentary registration, interviews or photos of presenters, contact Sara Uttech at (608) 268-4948 through Friday (Nov. 10) or at (317) 262-1967 throughout the conference.

Related Web sites:

Conference Web site


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