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Bioenergy and Sustainable Agriculture: Perennial Biomass Crops for Multiple Benefits

Save the Dates – November 19-20, 2014

Join us for a unique workshop on

Bioenergy and Sustainable Agriculture:
Perennial Biomass Crops for Multiple Benefits

at Richland Community College in Decatur, Illinois

Green Lands Blue Waters (GLBW) and the Agricultural Watershed Institute (AWI) cordially invite you to attend a workshop on perennial biomass crops grown for renewable energy, forage or bioproducts plus environmental benefits. Workshop participants will:

  • Explore synergies and trade-offs between biomass production and environmental goals
  • Learn about logistics, energy conversion technologies, and markets for grass biomass
  • Develop strategies to overcome obstacles and implement projects in Midwest watersheds or fuelsheds

Who should participate? The value of this workshop will come largely from exchange of ideas, information, and viewpoints among leading experts, key stakeholders, and decision makers including:

  • Agricultural producers, landowners, and conservation professionals
  • University-based researchers
  • Agricultural, energy, and conservation agencies at the federal, state, and local level
  • Environmental and agricultural nongovernmental organizations
  • Business and industry, including bioenergy entrepreneurs and energy end-users
  • Foundations and investors interested in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture

Workshop Content: Plenary and concurrent sessions will address topics including:

  • The GLBW vision and plan for transformational change on the agricultural landscape
  • How perennial biomass crops can help mitigate climate change and Gulf hypoxia
  • Landscape design for co-production of biomass plus clean water—habitat—CO2 reduction, etc.
  • Economics and policy innovation, including payments for ecosystem services
  • Biomass supply chains, markets/enterprises, and technologies: Opportunities & challenges
  • Case studies of watershed projects for perennial biomass crops & other CLC systems
  • A special Sangamon Watershed Celebration on the evening of Nov 19 will feature Cajun food & music and a keynote address by marine ecologist Dr. Nancy Rabalais, director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and a leading expert on hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.

GLBW supports development of and transition to a new generation of multifunctional agricultural systems that integrate more perennial plants and other continuous living cover (CLC) into the landscape. AWI, a nonprofit based in Decatur, Illinois, leads a collaborative project to promote perennial crops for bioenergy, forage, clean water and wildlife in the Upper Sangamon Watershed.

For further information, please contact:
Steve John, AWI Executive Director, sfjohn@agwatershed.org, 217-877-5640

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Continuous Living Cover in the Lake Decatur Watershed

From its headwaters near Bloomington, Illinois, the Sangamon River flows through the cities of Decatur and Springfield on its way to meet the Illinois River. The Upper Sangamon River Watershed covers about 1425 square miles. The Lake Decatur dam, built in the early 1920s, impounds the Sangamon to create a lake used for recreation and the city’s domestic and industrial water supply. The watershed area upstream of the dam is about 925 square miles.

Decatur businessman A. E. Staley played a significant early role in transforming the agricultural landscape of Central Illinois and much of the Corn Belt when his company opened a “plant for grinding and extracting the oil from the soya bean” in 1922.

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AWI Shows Importance of Cover Crops