Agriculture is expected to play a significant role in addressing today�s energy cost and supply problems. The development of bioenergy and other renewable energy resources, and the adoption of new environmental management practices, create tremendous opportunities � and challenges � in agriculture. What do these developments mean for new and existing farmer cooperatives? How can cooperatives better position themselves for future success in these key areas?

The conference will present experts from the governmental policy, research, and agricultural cooperative sectors to explore these issues. Topics include:

  • the impact of federal and state policies in agriculture and energy;
  • issues and opportunities in sourcing grain, and marketing ethanol and biodiesel;
  • renewable energy prospects in wind, sucrose, switch grass, and whey;
  • the Canadian experience with biofuels, and potential partnership opportunities;
  • financing new business development;
  • new member services in environmental management.

November 1, 2006

7:00 - 8:00 Registration and continental breakfast
8:00 - 8:10 Conference Introduction
Brent Hueth, Associate Professor and Director, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
Steve Halbrook, Vice President, Farm Foundation (.pdf format)
8:10 - 9:00 The 2007 Farm Bill: Shift from Price and Income Support to Energy, Conservation and the Environment: Opportunities for Cooperatives
Moderator: Bob Bass, First Vice Chairman, CHS Board of Directors
Terry Barr, Chief Economist and Vice President, Agriculture and Trade Policy, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (.pdf format)
9:00 - 9:30 The Future of Renewable Energy and the Role of State Government
Moderator: Bob Cropp, Professor Emeritus, Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Will Hughes, Administrator, Agricultural Development Division, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection(.pdf format)
9:45 - 10:30 The Potential Impact of Ethanol and Biodiesel on Corn and Soybean Prices
Moderator: Brian Henehan, Senior Extension Associate and Program Leader, Cornell University
Randy Fortenbery, Professor and Director, Renk Agribusiness Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison (.pdf format)
10:30 - 12:00 Bioenergy: Opportunities for Cooperatives in Marketing Ethanol, Biodiesel and Byproducts
Moderator: Roger Ginder, Professor, Department of Economics, Iowa State University

The Role of Regional Cooperatives
Don Olson, Vice President, CHS Energy Marketing; (.pdf format)
Steve Barwick, Vice President, Corporate Planning & Operations, Growmark

Local Ethanol and Biodiesel Plants: Marketing through a Federated Structure
Gary Haer Vice President Sales and Marketing Renewable Energy Group (.pdf format)
1:00 - 2:00 Bioenergy: Opportunities for Cooperatives in Sourcing Corn and Soybeans
Moderator: Douglas O'Brien, Research Assistant Professor of Law and Interim Co-Director, National Agricultural Law Center
Joe Annis, General Manager, Max-Yield Co-op; (.pdf format)
Randall J. Doyal, CEO, Al-Corn Clean Fuel
2:00 - 2:45 Bioenergy and Canada: Recent Developments and Potential Opportunities
Moderator: Brian Oleson, Professor and Department Head, Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, University of Manitoba
Lionel LaBelle, President, Saskatchewan Ethanol Development Council (.pdf format)
3:00 - 4:45 Other Renewable Energy Sources
Moderator: Chris Peterson, Professor and Nowlin Chair of Consumer-Responsive Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University
  • Wind Energy: Potential for Cooperatives
    Ron Schwartau, Director, Minnesota Rural Electric Association, and Director Representative to National Rural Electric Association (.pdf format)
  • Economics of Ethanol from Sucrose
    Dave Malmskog, Director, Business Development, and Assistant Secretary/Treasurer, American Crystal Sugar Company (.pdf format)
  • Methane from Whey Permeate
    Michael S. Gratz, President, NewBio E Systems, Inc. ( .pdf format)
  • Potential of Switch Grass
    Bill Belden, Project Manager, Chariton Valley Biomass Project
  • (.pdf format)
4:45 - 5:00 Reflections on today's program-comments, questions, and evaluation
5:30 - 6:30 Social hour
6:30 Banquet and presentation
Moderator: Michael Boland, Professor and Associate Director, Arthur Capper Cooperative Center, Kansas State University
  • Biofuels: Opportunities for American Energy Independence Pat Bowe, President, Cargill Corn Milling

November 2

11:00 - 11:30 a.m. Reflections on the conference program-comments, questions, and evaluation Anne Reynolds, Assistant Director, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
7:00 - 8:00 Continental breakfast
8:00 - 9:15 Financing Cooperative Opportunities
Moderator: David Swanson, Attorney, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • CoBank's Experience in Financing Ethanol and Biodiesel Plants
    Tom Houser, Vice President, CoBank (.pdf format)
  • The Story of Western Wisconsin Renewable Energy Co-op: Equity Capital Drive and Business Structure
    Paul Harrison, Board President; Laverne Ausman, Executive Director, Western Wisconsin Renewable Energy Cooperative (.pdf format)
  • Organizing and Financing Bioenergy Businesses
    Robert Hensley, Attorney, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • The Use of New Cooperative Laws
    Mark Hanson, Attorney, Lindquist & Vennum PLLP
9:15 - 10:00 Environmental Management: New Member Service Opportunities for Cooperatives Moderator: Lynn Pitman, Outreach Specialist, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
  • Service Opportunities for Local Supply Cooperatives
    Jim Shelton, Agronomy Division Manager, Landmark Cooperative (.pdf format)
  • Opportunities for Dairy Cooperatives in Assisting Dairy Farmers in Managing Animal Waste and Associated Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    Duane Toenges, Manager, United States Supply Aggregation & Environmental Compliance, AgCert USA Services (.pdf format)
10:15 - 11:00 Environmental Management, continued
  • Enhancing Woodlot and Forest Management through Services Offered by Local Farm Supply Cooperatives
    Larry Wojchik, General Manager, Goldstar Co-op (.pdf format); E.G. Nadeau, Director, Research, Planning and Development, Cooperative Development Services
11:00 - 11:30 Reflections on the conference program-comments, questions, and evaluation
Anne Reynolds, Assistant Director, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
11:30 Adjourn

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The annual meeting of cooperative researchers, NCERA-194, followed the Farmer Cooperatives Conference on November 2 and 3, at the same location.