The Sustainable Farming Association of Central Minnesota will host its annual meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 3 at Central Lakes College in Staples.
Presenters at "Keep the Tractors Running: Efficient Energy Usage and Alternatives" will include David Morris, Robyn Wells, John R. Dunlop and Philip R. Goodrich.
Morris is a researcher and writer. Almost 20 years ago he coined the term the "carbohydrate economy" and ever since he has worked to make it a reality. He is the author of four books and dozens of monographs, among them "The Carbohydrate Economy, How Much Energy Does It Take to Make a Gallon of Ethanol?" and "Substituting Biochemicals for Petrochemicals."
His newspaper columns have appeared in more than 100 newspapers and journals, including the Smithsonian magazine, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and New York Times. He is editor-in-chief for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's quarterly newsletter, The Carbohydrate Economy.
Morris regularly consults with local, state and national governments here and abroad and with businesses as large as IBM and the Farm Credit Banks and as small as microbreweries. Assisting him in his work is the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a research enterprise based in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., which he founded 26 years ago and currently serves as its vice president.
Wells, a native of New Zealand, has been general manager of the Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op in Little Falls since December 1998. She has spent the majority of her career in the ethanol business, first as a research scientist for the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, then in a financial and management capacity.
Wells has a master's of science degree in microbiology and an MBA in general management.
The Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op has been in operation for 18 months and is producing 18 million gallons of 100 percent ethanol per year from approximately 6.6 million bushels of corn. In addition to ethanol, the co-op produces a high protein animal co-product called distillers dried grains with solubles.
The co-op has just over 700 members who are both corn and non-producers.
Dunlop is the manager of the American Wind Energy Association's regional office in Minneapolis, serving the nine northern plains states. He also has a renewable energy consulting firm, and is a former manager of renewable energy programs in the Minnesota state energy office. He is a licensed professional engineer, with degrees in mechanical engineering and physics.
Goodrich, associate professor in the Department of Bio-systems and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Minnesota, has worked in animal manure research and development for 30 years in Minnesota.
He designed, built and operated a 10,000-gallon research digester on a Minnesota swine farm during the 1970s. He operated the digester for eight years for both energy research and odor control. He wrote publications and presented material to extension audiences about digestion.
Goodrich participated in a National Academy Of Science project on small-scale digesters in Egypt for five years as the advisory team leader. He traveled to China, India and Thailand to learn more about small-scale digesters. He recently participated in the multi-organization team assisting the Haubenschild digester development on a dairy farm in Princeton.
Cost for registrations postmarked by Saturday is $10 for the first person and $5 for additional family members if SFA members; or $15 for the first person and $7 for additional family members if non-SFA members.
Registration after Saturday will cost $15 for the first person and $7 for additional family members if SFA members; or $20 for the first person and $10 for additional family members if non-SFA members.
Call (320) 594-2456 for information.
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