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How Michigan Can Re-energize with Agri-Energy Conference Slated for Saginaw

Experts to Speak Wednesday at Horizons Center on Alternative Fuels

March 12, 2006       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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This little piggy went to market; this little piggy went home; this little piggy had roast beef; this little piggy got involved with an anaerobic digester and helped produce energy.

Some of the nation's leading experts on trends in alternative energy solutions will be on hand Wednesday at the "Harvesting Agri-Energy Conference" at Horizons Conference Center, Saginaw.

Sponsors of the conference are the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Michigan State University Extension Service.

Exhibits will feature the latest in biomass furnaces, solar, wind and anaerobic digesting equipment and bio-fuel products.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has been invited to discuss "Fueling Rural Prosperity Through State and Federal Policies" at a noon luncheon keynote but her appearance remains tentative, conference officials said.

Keynote speaker at 8:45 a.m. is David Morris, Institute for Local SelfReliance, whose topic is: "How Harvesting Clean Energy Can Strengthen Rural Economies and Help Michigan Reach Energy Independence."

Other speakers include:
  • Charlie Kubert, Environmental Law and Policy Center of the Midwest, on "Repowering Michigan: 21st Century Clean Energy Opportunities." (9:30-10:15 a.m.)

  • Dr. Bruce Dale, Michigan State University, speaking on "Vision of the Future: Connecting Agriculture and Energy." (10:45-11:30 a.m.)

    Afternoon concurrent sessions include:

  • 1-1:35 p.m., Building an Anaerobic Digester; Increasing Farm Profitability Through Energy Efficiency; and Plant Biomass Opportunities;

  • 1:35-2:15 p.m., Anaerobic Digester Composting, Increasing Farm Profitability (continued) and Smart Use of Natural Materials for Bio-Fuels, with Dr. Chris Schilling of Saginaw Valley State University;

  • 2:45-3:20 p.m., Using Anaerobic Digester Technology on the farm; Farmer-Owned Wind Projects and Developing Liquid Bio-Fuels (Biodiesel panel);

  • 3:20-4 p.m., Using Methane from An Anaerobic Digester; Wind Farming and Local Zoning Issues; and Liquid Bio-Fuels (Ethanol panel).

    A plenary session is slated at 4 p.m. to discuss financing options and closing remarks are on tap at 5 p.m.

    Information about registering for the conference may be obtained by calling the Environmental Assistance Center, 800-662-9278 or on line at

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    Dave Rogers

    Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
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