Farm Energy issue conference (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 03 Feb 1997 15:16:23 GMT
From: Al Kurki <akurki@desktop.org>
To: sanet-mg@ces.ncsu.edu
Subject: Farm Energy issue conference



On behalf of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT),
I invite you to attend a farm energy planning conference in the Twin
Cities March 17 and 18th.  "On-farm Energy: Strategies for
Sustainability" is the first phase of an effort NCAT hopes to mount
that will position farmers (who have already reduced their
fertilizer and chemical use) to be still more energy-independent in
the future.

That future is somewhat less certain with issues such as utility
restructuring looming on the horizon.  At this planning conference,
a small group of farmers and others from every region of the country
will address questions like:
°What efforts have been mounted over the past 15 years in the areas
of design, efficiency and alternative generation?  To what extent
have those efforts had a real impact in terms of being adopted by
growers and resulting in energy and cost savings?  To what extent
are these past or current efforts integrated, useful and accessible
to family farm operations?
°What is the "energy weak link" in farm operations that have adopted
sustainable agriculture principles and practices?  What remains the
unfinished or future business in terms of energy use on these farms?

° What -- from a grower's perspective -- are the approaches that
should be considered and developed to speak to the interests of
farmers on this topic in the future?  What are the practical,
hands-on possibilities that can result in real benefits for family
farm operations?  Better dissemination of existing information? A
national network of regional on-farm demonstrations?

Attendance at this event is limited, so if you'd like to attend,
contact me soon for a  brochure and other details on this event.  


Al Kurki, NCAT Project Cordinator
akurki @desktop.org

A Farm Energy Planning Conference  
On-farm Energy -- Strategies for Sustainability
March 17-18, 1997, Days Inn, Bloomington, Minnesota 
Co-sponsored by the National Center for Appropriate Technology
(NCAT) and the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.

The objectives of this planning conference are to:
° Determine what "energy weak links" sustainable farmers are
encountering in their operations, such as electrical and diesel fuel
use and costs.
° Determine what the current and future trends of energy use in the
food system are and where are the best opportunities and sectors to
have impact on energy use and sustainable production.
° Create an understanding and context in which visions and specific
initiatives could be created, discussed and assessed.
° Test a Farm Energy Project concept.
The planning conference will:
1) Examine the changes that, for better or worse, have taken place
in the food system regarding energy use since the Rodale Cornucopia
Project was completed in the late 70's-early 1980's (look at trends
rather than numbers),
2)  Assess energy costs that farmers bear to the point of delivering
products to processors, buyers or consumers.
3)  Decide what is doable from a practical, on-the-ground standpoint
from the visions or approaches created by this group.  From there,
set goals and plans for future action.
4) Explore how best can advocates of sustainable agriculture
positively affect components of the food system to reduce energy
5) Determine what are the conservation and renewable energy
technologies and practices of most interest to sustainable growers. 
Determine what are the best most effective transfer mechanisms for
reaching interested growers.  
6) Explore ways of ensuring that the farm's reduced reliance on
fossil fuels  generates real benefits for growers and not simply a
cheaper food source for multinational corporate food processors and
Proposed Agenda
Sunday night 8 - 9 pm, March 16th -- Informal "share fair" session
of literature on design and planning tools, technologies and
approaches associated with saving or generating energy on
family-size farms.  This will be a sampler of information that NCAT
is uncovering as it develops a briefing paper for this meeting, as
well as a brief Small Farm Energy Project report. 

Monday , March 17 
8 am°Welcome (Ron Kroese, NCAT)
° Discussion of meeting process and proposed outcomes -- What we
hope to accomplish
8:50 am°Introductions, including farmers answering the questions:
"What is the most crucial energy concern you have as it relates to
your farm?" and "What are energy concerns of other growers in your
region who are applying sustainable agriculture principles and

10:15 to 10:30  Break

10:30 am °What's happened in the US or elsewhere over the past 15
years in areas of redesigning facilities or equipment; capturing
efficiency, and promoting alternative energy generation for farms ? 
What have been the outcomes of these efforts:
1) Public sector --Oil overcharge-funded projects, sustainable ag,
IPM, programs, Midwest initiatives (such as the Prairie Island
Agreement), DOE, USDA, NREL  (A verbal executive summary of the
briefing paper.)

2) Private sector initiatives, including rural electric coops --
conservation, renewables, restructuring and rural development issues
and the coops' responses
(A verbal executive summary of the briefing paper.)

3) What are the Sustainable Energy for Economic Development groups
(SEEDs) doing?  (Lola Schoenrich, Minnesota Project)

 4) Lessons we can learn from elsewhere in the world (Roger Blobaum)

12:30 pm Lunch

1:30 pm° Discussion – What are the weak links in sustainable farming
operations in terms of energy consumption? A discussion on what
those could be: electrical, distance from markets, diesel fuel,
uncoordinated product transport, etc.  (Fred Kirschenmann –

2:30 pm° Presentation and discussion – Electricity:  Micro level (on
farm and in communities)--capturing every  kilowatt through design,
energy audits, efficiency or alternative generation sources.  (Panel
of farmers and others.)  Macro level--Electric Utilities'
Restructuring and its potential impacts on farmers and rural
communities. (Invited speaker: Minnesotans for an Energy Efficient
Economy representative)

3:30 pm Break

4 pm °Presentation and discussion – Shortening the food supply line:
 Saving energy and money by reducing the distance farmers ship
products for processing or consumption.  (New rural community-based,
value-added processing and marketing initiatives, Farmers Markets,
CSAs, etc.)  (Fred Kirschenmann, ND, discussion leader).

5 pm °Recap, evaluation and discussion -- what are the remaining
holes in our knowledge base? Preview of evening session and goals
for the next day.

5:30 pm Break for Dinner

7:30 pm  ° Presentation and discussion: The Small Farm Energy
Project: what it tried to accomplish, what it did do and what it
failed to do, what challenges lie ahead?   Roger Blobaum,
Washington, DC.  Roger was the director of the Small Farm Energy
project in the late 70's and early 80's.  

Tuesday, March 18th
8:30 am° Review of previous day's sessions and discussion of items
NOT discussed in any detail before this point.

9 am° Looking to the Future: Scenario Development Discussion and
Review of Farm Energy Project outline and other project
possibilities. What are intelligent, effective strategies for
change? Does a Farm Energy Project make sense?  (Michael Groh,

10:15 am Break

10:30 am °Discussion and Review continues

NOON Lunch

1 pm° Next Steps --  Recommendations, action plans and assignments

2:30 pm° Summary and evaluation of the meeting.

3 pm °Adjourn 

Things you need to know about this meeting:

Preparation:  NCAT is developing a briefing paper that reviews the
activities and outcomes of farm energy use programs and projects
over the past 15 years.  People who attend this conference will
receive a copy of the briefing paper and a Farm Energy Project
concept paper by March 7, 1997.  

Location:  The Days Inn is at 1900 Harmon Killebrew Drive just off
I-494 south of Minneapolis.  It is a short drive from the
Minneapolis airport and across a big parking lot from the Mall of
America, the US's largest shopping mall.  For those of you who are
flying, the Day's Inn has free shuttle service from the airport.

Location:  The Days Inn is at 1900 Harmon Killebrew Drive just off
I-494  south of Minneapolis.  It is a short drive from the
Minneapolis airport and across a big parking lot from the Mall of
America, the US's largest shopping mall.  For those of you who are
flying, the Day's Inn has free shuttle service from the airport. The
Inn's phone number is 612-854-8400.  

Lodging:  The Days Inn single occupancy rooms are at a special rate
of $62.00/night (plus tax)  for Saturday the 15th through Monday the
17th.  NCAT has reserved a block of rooms  at that rate.  Double
occupancy rates are $85.00/night plus tax. You must make your room
reservations by February 21st to get the reduced room rate. When
making your reservations, indicate that you are attending the NCAT-
University of Minnesota farm energy planning conference. 

Meals: Two catered lunches will be provided.  They will be in the
$7.00 to $11.00 range.

Please return the form below by February 21st to:
Al Kurki
NCAT Project Coordinator
4308 Jim Town Rd.
Helena, MT 59601


NCAT Farm Energy Planning Conference
Registration Form

Phone number:

__Yes, I plan on attending,  __ No sorry, I can't

__ I will stay at the Days Inn on ___ March 15th,  ___March 16th,
___ March 17th.  I have made my own reservations.  __ I will not be
staying at the Days Inn.

__I want the catered lunch both days of the conference.  ___ I
prefer have prefer vegetarian meals.

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