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April 23, 2001   Email to Friend 

PRODUCERS HELP FUND VALUE-ADDED PROGRAM
Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
April 23, 2001

"MONTGOMERY, Ala." The Alabama Farmers Federation's State Feed Grains Committee voted on Wednesday to allocate $75,000 from producer checkoff funds to study value-added opportunities for farmers. Those opportunities include the feasibility of establishing a biomass cooperative in the Black Belt.

During the Wednesday meeting at the Federation headquarters in Montgomery, the committee heard reports from ethanol energy consultants, Auburn University specialists and representatives of Pro-Gen Holdings, a company interested in investing in the Black Belt facility.

The State Feed Grains Committee is working with the Federation Commodity Department, National Affairs Department and Governmental Affairs Department to secure matching funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development Grant Program.

The feasibility study is being conducted in partnership with Auburn University, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the Black Belt Bioenergy Cooperative and SJH energy consultants. About 8 percent of the power in the U.S. comes from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy. Biomass energy includes ethanol and electricity generated from agricultural crops. This form of energy has great potential but costs more to produce than fossil fuels. It accounts for 45 percent of the renewable energy used in the U.S, which is enough to power several million households.


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