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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Research Project #431960

Research Project: Woody Bioenergy Feedstocks from Marginal Agricultural Lands: Red Cedar Feedstock and Environmental Sustainability

Location: Soil, Water & Air Resources Research

Project Number: 5030-11610-005-71-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 1, 2016
End Date: Jun 30, 2019

Objective:
Conduct outreach and extension activities on the potential of eastern red cedar for bioenergy with producers (farmers, natural resource professionals) and users (bioenergy industries).

Approach:
A) Biomass Tour/Field Day. We will offer one biomass tour/field day targeting producers/farmers and natural resource professionals in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota. The field day location will be strategically identified to ensure participation of key target audience from these states. We will work with farmer cooperator(s) and existing bioenergy users to offer the biomass tour/field day in conjunction with the yearly gathering of State Foresters in these states such as the Tri-State Conference. At this biomass tour/field day, topics to cover will include production, harvesting, and preprocessing of bioenergy materials (e.g., eastern red cedar) for energy. Pre and post evaluation to understand behavior change will be conducted. As an outreach tool, this field day will produce a dispersed and informed group of people that can act as “knowledgeable neighbor” contacts, which will then serve as a peer-to-peer learning process. B) In-door workshop. One in-door workshop/session will be offered to share project results with key audiences. We will work with existing State initiatives to offer a workshop during its educational events. Cooperators exists to advance the use of wood biomass for energy in rural Minnesota. In particular, some offer educational programs around bioenergy to support the educational need on bioenergy by Olmstead County in Southeast Minnesota to achieve the goal of Destination Medical Center Initiative (DMC) in the State. Developed by virtue of legislation in Minnesota, the DMC Initiative incorporates the use of biomass for energy as a component of its portfolio to generate economic development in the region. Farmers and natural resource professionals from Iowa and South Dakota will be encouraged to attend this event. C) Webinar. On-line delivery of information is now becoming a norm to reach a wider audience. We will offer one Webinar, in partnership with cooperator, to share project results to a wide audience in NCR. D) eXtension Materials. Extension materials such as fact sheet series, FAQs, and short articles will be developed and distributed in print and electronic formats. In addition to being used as supporting materials in the face-to-face programming, these materials will be shared to a wider audience through cooperator. E) Presentations at regional and/or national conferences. Project results will be shared at regional (e.g., Tri-State Forestry Conference) and national conferences (Bioenergy or during the North American Agroforestry Conference) sponsored by various regional Sun Grant Centers.