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INL News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 16, 2008

NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:
Keith Arterburn, 208-351-2999 (cell), keith.arterburn@inl.gov
John Thompson, 208-239-4292, jthompson@idahofb.org

INL and Idaho Farm Bureau Federation sign agreement on energy crop research

POCATELLO — Idaho National Laboratory and the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation today signed a memorandum of understanding establishing cooperation and coordination on advanced technologies needed by the agriculture industry in Idaho.

INL Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Environment J.W. "Bill" Rogers Jr. said, "INL is dedicated to research and development of technologies that will advance Idaho's agricultural industry and renewable energy production capabilities for the nation."

INL has served as the lead laboratory in designing the feedstock road map for developing technologies to harvest, collect, preprocess, store and transport agricultural, forestry and dedicated energy crop materials. 

"Although Idaho was not blessed with abundant fossil energy such as oil, coal or natural gas, we still have the potential to become a major producer of energy," said Frank Priestley, president of the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation. "As technologies continue to develop, farmers and researchers are beginning to work together to prove that dedicated energy crops, waste materials and forestry residues can be an important addition to the Idaho economy and environment."

The MOU includes testing of varied grasses such as switch, prairie, sudan, the native Idaho basin wild rye and miscanthus as dedicated energy crops. It also includes the harvesting, collection and preparation of cellulosic and other feedstocks for biofuels processing and conversion into fuels, chemicals and energy.

The testing and R&D effort are not intended to reduce the amount of land already devoted to food and feed crops. The MOU agrees to collaboration for an initial five years through December 2013, as field experiments take two or three years for proper data collection in test plots. 

Idaho National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE – energy, national security, science and environment. More specifically, INL is the nation's leading center of nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is the largest general farm organization in Idaho with over 63,000 member families and is affiliated with the American Farm Bureau Federation, representing over five million member families nationwide. IFBF was organized to protect and support the interests of agriculture and is the parent company of Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho.

INL-08-033

Learn more about INL's Energy and Environment research.
Visit the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation's website.

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