Resources for Agricultural
Updated: March 27, 2002
From: Tom Stanton
COMMERCIAL CONTACTS AND DIRECTORIES
OF COMMERCIAL FIRMS
Anergen. Anergen is dedicated to providing
cost-effective, innovative, waste-to-energy systems, utilizing an advanced
biochemical process that benefits our clients, society and the environment.
http://www.anergen.net/. Contact Mark Barber,
- CleanEdge. A market research
and consulting firm that serves the clean-tech marketplace, CleanEdge's mission
is to help investors, industry, and society understand and profit from the
emerging clean-tech revolution. Web site includes an extensive directory,
with descriptions and links for clean-tech trade associations, government
programs, research labs, and other resources. www.cleanedge.com.
Energy Performance. EnSave works
with investor owned utilities, state run Public Benefit Corporations, Coops,
and non-profits to devise and deliver energy efficient programs to farming
customers. Programs are delivered in conjunction with USDA Farm Service
Agency, local Farm Bureaus, Cooperative Extension Services, and various
state Agriculture Departments. http://www.ensave.com/. Contact Craig Metz, (800) 732-1399.
Living Machines & Living Technologies: Inspired by ecosystems as old as the Earth itself, Living Machines,
Inc. designs and operates Living Machines®, revolutionary natural wastewater
treatment and reclamation systems that accelerate nature’s own water purification
Power Inc. (formerly Stirling Thermal Motors) is an Ann Arbor,
Michigan, developer of on-site, electricity and cogeneration systems using
a proprietary four-cylinder adaptation of external heat (Stirling-cycle)
engine technology. STM has already worked
to develop small-scale bio-gas fired systems, with waste heat recovery.
Specialists in micro-generation -- all the way down to 1 kW in size
-- using biomass fuels. http://www.sunpower.com/.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES AND PROGRAMS:
GOVERNMENT OFFICES AND PROGRAMS:
STATE, COUNTY, LOCAL
Michigan Biomass Energy Program: The goal of
the Michigan Biomass Energy Program is to encourage increased production
capacity for biomass energy derived from Michigan's resources through program
policies, information dissemination, and demonstration projects. Projects
which increase the production capacity and use of biomass energy can improve
Michigan's environmental quality, energy security, and economic viability. http://www.michiganbioenergy.org/.
Michigan Department of Agriculture: The Michigan Department of Agriculture plays a leadership role in innovative
environmental stewardship programs that have garnered national acclaim and
serve as models for other states interested in pursuing active agricultural-environmental
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Pollution Prevention (P2)
Section. Guided by the Michigan Agricultural Pollution Prevention Strategy, the
AgP2 program builds on current programs and improves coordination among
the public agencies that offer environmental services to farmers and their
suppliers, while promoting P2 and Green Technologies. http://www.deq.state.mi.us/ead/p2sect/.
NEWS AND INFORMATION
An electronic mail based news digest on sustainable building design and
related government and business issues, published every two weeks. www.greendesign.net/greenclips/.
- SolarAccess.com. Started
in 1998 by a group of Renewable Energy professionals. A source for Renewable
Energy on the Internet, Daily News Covering Renewable Energy Worldwide;
Renewable Energy Marketplace; Electronic Classified Ads; Comprehensive Industry
Events Calendar; plus lots more! www.solaraccess.com.
RESEARCH AND DEMONSTRATION
Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA): is the national sustainable farming information center operated by the
private nonprofit National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). ATTRA
provides technical assistance to farmers, Extension agents, market gardeners,
agricultural researchers, and other agriculture professionals in all 50
states. Topics addressed by ATTRA can be categorized into three broad areas:
(1) sustainable farming production practices; (2) alternative crop and livestock
enterprises; and (3) innovative marketing. Technical assistance, publications,
and resources are provided free of charge to appropriate users. http://www.attra.org/.
Biomimicry: Biomimicry – the title of a 1997 book by Janine Benyus
-- is a new science that studies nature's models and then imitates or takes
inspiration from natural designs and processes to solve human problems.
CADDET Renewable Energy: CADDET Renewable Energy is an International Energy
Agency agreement for the exchange of information on commercial renewable
energy projects and has been operating since 1993. CADDET stands for Centre
for the Analysis and Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy Technologies.
CADDET has one division devoted to renewable energy and another to energy
Carbohydrate Economy Clearinghouse: Carbohydrates, the building blocks of plant matter,
can be converted into chemicals, energy, textiles, building materials, paper,
and many other industrial products. The Institute of Local Self-Reliance
calls this new materials base a "carbohydrate economy." A carbohydrate
economy reduces pollution, builds stronger rural communities, and supports
a rooted, farmer-owned processing and manufacturing sector. http://www.carbohydrateeconomy.org/.
Center for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan. The Center for Sustainable
Systems develops life-cycle models and sustainability metrics to evaluate
performance and guide continuous improvement of industrial systems for meeting
societal needs. CSS promotes sustainability by developing these tools and
knowledge in collaboration with diverse stakeholders so that better informed
decisions are made. http://css.snre.umich.edu/.
Great Lakes Regional Biomass Energy Program. The Council of Great Lakes Governors administers this U.S. Department
of Energy regional program, designed
to encourage greater production and use of biomass for energy generation. Each State in the Great Lakes Region has a state-level biomass energy
program that works in conjunction with this regional program. This includes the Michigan Biomass Energy Program (see
below), as well as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Pennsylvania State University,
College of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural and Biological Engineering,
Energy Strategies. Ideas and information about energy related projects
and products for the agricultural sector.
Mountain Institute. Rocky Mountain Institute is an entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization
that fosters the efficient and restorative use of resources to create a
more secure, prosperous, and life-sustaining world. RMI shows businesses, communities, individuals,
and governments how to create more wealth and employment, protect and enhance
natural and human capital, increase profit and competitive advantage, and
enjoy many other benefits—largely by doing what they do far more efficiently.
http://www.rmi.org. See also this newsletter article about how England’s top hard cider
maker is working to revise its business along ZERI principles (see Zero
Emissions Research and Intiatives, below): http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/art7050.php.
is an environmental performance information resource, available
online. One of the sectors that is outlined on the SectorStar Web
site is Meat and Poultry Processing.
This network will help businesses, states and communities find useful,
targeted information on environmental innovation and excellence. SectorSTAR
(short for Industry Sector-based Environmental Strategies,
Tools And R esources)
is a free service backed by the experience and technical expertise of the
Global Environment & Technology Foundation in partnership with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation. http://www.sectorstar.org/sector/MeatProcessing/.
Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (Tokyo, Japan). ZERI
seeks to improve the profitability
of manufacturing while reducing environmental impact by striving for zero
waste. ZERI is the brainchild of Belgian economist and entrepreneur Gunter
Pauli. Pauli pushed the frontiers
of corporate environmentalism and drew world-wide attention as owner, president,
and CEO of Ecover, an "eco-factory" producing environmentally
benign cleansers. But however green Ecover's operation became, it could
only reduce waste, not eliminate it completely. This limitation gave rise
to Pauli's Zero Emissions vision: multi-industry clusters of factories,
in which emissions from one plant are used as inputs by another. The trick,
according to Pauli, is finding the "missing links" to complete
the cycles. See: http://www.zeri.org, http://www.sustainable.doe.gov/database/231.html, and http://www.sustainable.doe.gov/business/ng_chp3.shtml.
AND PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Bioenergy Association: is an
advocate for progress in the production of power, transportation fuels,
and chemicals from biomass. Working with others in the energy and
environmental communities, the ABA will seek to build support in the federal
government for the biomass industry through tax incentives, increased biomass
research and development budgets, regulations and other policy initiatives.
- Bio/Environmentally Degradable
Polymer Society (BEDPS). Founded in 1991, as a non-profit professional society,
the mission of the BEDPS is to encourage research, education and training
and to facilitate information exchange among researchers with diverse interests,
both as they relate to degradable polymers and to environmental aspects of
Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association is a non-profit organization that educates, advocates,
promotes, and publicly demonstrates renewable energy technologies. http://www.glrea.org.
Michigan Agriculture Electric Council (MAEC)
serves as an information and educational source regarding electrical issues
for farmers, extension agents, veterinarians, and anybody involved with
agriculture in Michigan. http://www.egr.msu.edu/age/.
Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP): MAEAP’s mission is to develop and promote a recognized, voluntary,
proactive environmental assurance program, targeted to the agricultural
industry, which ensures that producers are engaging in cost-effective pollution
prevention practices and are in compliance with environmental regulations.
Association of Conservation Districts (MACD):
MACD is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of Michigan's
82 Conservation Districts. MACD conducts campaigns and programs to strengthen
Conservation Districts, and encourages land users to adopt conservation
practices that protect soil, water, and related natural resources. http://www.macd.org/macdset.html.
Michigan Integrated Food
& Farming Systems (MIFFS): MIFFS is a collaborative effort to create and support more sustainable
food and agriculture systems for producers and consumers in Michigan. Agricultural
productivity, economic viability, environmental protection, resource efficiency,
and strong communities are all important goals of MIFFS.
State Sustainable Agriculture Network
(Michigan State University): MSAN
is a student-led Michigan State University (MSU) organization that provides
opportunities to learn and participate in sustainable agriculture. http://www.msue.msu.edu/misanet/msan01.html.
Renewable Energy Association.
The Midwest Renewable Energy
Association is a nonprofit network for sharing ideas, resources, and information
with individuals, businesses, and communities to promote a sustainable
future through renewable energy and energy efficiency. http://www.the-mrea.org/.
- Midwest Rural Energy Council.
The Midwest Rural Energy Council [formerly the Wisconsin Farm Electric
Council] is a non-profit organization formed by utilities based in Minnesota
and Wisconsin. The council was founded in 1954 as a cooperative program between
the investor-owned utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and the University
of Wisconsin Agricultural Engineering Department. In December 1997, the board
approved the merger with utilities in Minnesota and the University of Minnesota.
The merger became effective March 26, 1999. The Midwest Rural Energy Council
is dedicated to serving a variety of groups including: agriculture and other
rural energy consumers youth and farm organizations the electrical equipment
industry regulatory agencies, and education and research institutions. The
mission of the MREC is to initiate, develop, support and coordinate education,
research and communication programs on significant and emerging rural energy
issues for the consumer, energy suppliers and allied industries through cooperative
efforts of its members. http://www.mrec.org
National Food & Energy Council
. The NFEC is an association of nearly 200 electric
companies, cooperatives and public power districts. Helping our members serve
their rural customers is our primary goal. This is done through educational
materials, training courses, and direct technical assistance to members. http://www.nfec.org.
New Uses Council, a nonprofit 501(c)(3)
membership organization run by volunteers dedicated to expanding the development
and commercialization of new industrial, energy, and non-food consumer uses
of renewable agricultural, forestry, livestock and marine products. http://newuses.org/.
- Sustainable Energy Coalition.
Represents more than 30 national business, environmental, consumer, and energy
policy organizations (with links to each organization's web site). Founded
in 1992, the Coalition promotes increased federal support for energy efficiency
and renewable energy technologies and reduced federal support for unsafe or
polluting energy resources. www.sustainableenergy.org.