Farm To Fuel
Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is assisting Florida farmers and ranchers in producing bio-fuel crops to help reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil.
Bronson believes that Florida can be a leader in the effort of producing energy from crops and timber because of the vast amount of farm acreage in the state and its mild climate, which permits crops to be grown virtually year round.
In the fall of 2004, a group of agricultural leaders joined forces to discuss how they could proactively address the growing challenges associated with energy prices. The result was a bold new initiative: 25x’25. The goal: America’s farms, ranches and forests will provide 25 percent of America’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2025.
In September of 2005, the 25x’25 initiative was presented to and endorsed by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). Upon learning of the 25x’25 goal, and to further this effort in Florida, Bronson developed his Farm to Fuel initiative which the Florida Legislature adopted in Section 570.954, Florida Statutes, which states:
(1) The department may develop a farm-to-fuel initiative to enhance the market for and promote the production and distribution of renewable energy from Florida-grown crops, agricultural wastes and residues, and other biomass and to enhance the value of agricultural products or expand agribusiness in the state.
(2) The department may conduct a statewide comprehensive information and education program aimed at educating the general public about the benefits of renewable energy and the use of alternative fuels.
In addition to developing a “Farm to Fuel” initiative, the Department has taken a number of steps necessary to protect consumers from purchasing substandard alternative fuels, as they appear on the market. The Department amended the definition of petroleum fuels in Chapter 525, Florida Statutes, to include alternative fuels, such as predominantly alcohol-blended and bio-diesel fuels. Companies are now attempting to market and sell alternative fuels in Florida and auto manufacturers are producing an increasing number of vehicles that are equipped to run on alternative fuels; therefore, the use of alternative fuels in Florida is expected to increase in the near future. In addition, the Division of Standards has amended its rules to define and adopt the standards to which alternative fuels must conform. The division has also purchased new laboratory equipment for the Bureau of Petroleum Inspection’s three testing laboratories to analyze new alternative fuels entering the market to ensure fuel quality standards are met.
The Department was also instrumental in securing $5 million in funding for Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program for Bioenergy which is being administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in addition to $10 million for other Renewable Energy Technologies Grants. Information about these grant opportunities can be found at www.dep.state.fl.us/energy/fla_energy/energyact.htm.
On August 30 through September 1, The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services hosted a “Farm to Fuel Summit” in Orlando. This summit, which attracted more than 300 participants, will help Florida take the next step in promoting the production, distribution, and use of renewable fuels, particularly ethanol. This high-profile event featured speakers and panelists representing international, national and state perspectives on issues of research, production and distribution of biofuels. PowerPoint presentations from the summit can be accessed by clicking on the following links.
Larry Schafer, Vice President, Renewable Fuels Association (PPT)
David Terry, Project Coordinator, Governor’s Ethanol Coalition (PPT)
Dr. Gale Buchanan, Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics, USDA (PPT)
Mark Yancey, Vice President of Project Development, BBI International (PPT)
Dr. Janaki Alavalapati, Associate Professor in Resource Policy and Economics, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida (PPT)
J. Kieran Jennings, President, CFO, Homeland Agricultural Fuels, LLC (PPT)
Jose’ Francisco Davos, Senior Vice President, Dedini S/A Industrias de Base (PPT)
Ray Crabbs, Director, Agricultural Business Development, BRI Energy, LLC (PPT)
Dr. Gregory Luli, Vice President, Research, Celunol Corp. (PPT)
Robert F. Babik, Director, Vehicle Emissions Issues, Environment and Energy Public Policy Center, General Motors Corporation (PPT)
R.B. "Buzz" Hoover, President Gate Ethanol, LLC (PPT)
Daniel H. Moenter, Manager, State Government Affairs, Marathon Petroleum Company, LLC (PPT)
Adam J. Schubert, Ph.D., Product Strategy Manager, US BP Fuels Management Group (PPT)
Ernest C. Shea, Project Coordinator, 25x’25, America’s Energy Future (PPT)
Richard Nelson, Director of Engineering Extension Programs, Kansas State University (National Biodiesel Board) (PPT)
David Shiflett, Vice President, Southeastern Region, World Energy, LLC (PPT)
A. Stanley Meiburg, Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4 (Southeast Diesel Collaborative) (PPT)
Jan St. John, Relationship Manager, Farm Credit of North Florida (PPT)
J.C. Clinard, Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager, Farm Credit of Central Florida (PPT)
Allan Guyet, Director, Florida Energy Office (PPT)
Charles W. Clemons, Sr., State Director, USDA Rural Development (PPT)
Bob Rohrlack, Senior Vice President of Business Recruitment and Retention, Enterprise Florida, Inc. (PPT)
James Culp, Energy Programs Manager, Florida Technological Research and Development Authority (PPT)
Links to Related Web Sites
- Visit the FDACS Division of Standards Web Site
- Visit the Florida Energy Office Web Site
- Visit the 25x’25 Web Site
- Visit The Fueling Station Blog