A native Iowan who’s now the Undersecretary for Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture returned to the state today (Tuesday). In a speech at the University of Northern Iowa, Tom Dorr, talked about the future or rural America. Dorr says there’s a whole new growth industry opening up for rural America — energy. He says energy is the newest cash crop and present “one opportunity after another” for rural America. The use of corn-based ethanol has increased, but Dorr says it’s not the only energy source available on the farm.He says renewable energy is much, much broader than ethanol — including anaerobic digesters, landfill gas recovery, geothermal energy, hydrogen and a whole plethora of things. Dorr says broadband access is also central to rural economic development. He says the computer and Internet are producing the most radical decentralization of information in human history. Dorr is a native of Marcus, Iowa.
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