The two candidates for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture will tell their positions at a forum today (Saturday) at the annual state convention of the Iowa Farmers Union. The theme is “Farmer-Owned Energy: The New Cash Crop,” and forums this afternoon will tackle windpower and home-brewing bio-diesel, as well as women in farming and organic agriculture.
Conference organizer Leigh Adcock says while there are critics of ethanol and bio-diesel, the only drawbacks to the alternative fuels so far may be an excess of enthusiasm. She says there’s been a lot of hype, and even claims that Iowa alone could provide fuel for the nation.
Realistically, Adcock says, the infrastructure doesn’t exist to produce that amount of fuel, and probably won’t. She suggests rather than expecting to supply the nation’s energy needs, a more realistic approach would be the federal farm bill’s renewable-energy standard, in which there’s a promise to provide ten or fifteen percent of energy need from renewables by some goal like the year 2010.
This (Saturday) morning a little after nine the conference hears from Chuck Hassebroek, head of the Center for Rural Affairs, then both ag secretary candidates at an 11-A.M. forum, and after workshops and the election of new officers, the keynote speaker will be Democratic Representative Leonard Boswell.