Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has announced that he is hosting this year's "Farm to Fuel" summit July 29-31 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando.
"Despite the recent downturn in the economy, there remains a lot of enthusiasm for developing a robust renewable energy industry in Florida," Bronson said. "We look forward to sharing current developments with participants and to provide them with the information they need to move forward towards reducing our dependence on foreign oil while at the same time providing another source of income for our farmers."
For the fourth year in a row, hundreds of industry leaders in agriculture, energy, academia, banking and finance and government will gather to hear from a broad array of experts. Last July, Bronson's third Florida "Farm to Fuel" summit attracted nearly 500 participants.
Highlights of the summit include a keynote address by Governor Charlie Crist, panel discussions on sustainability, feedstocks, and permitting and financing renewable energy projects. Participants will hear about various efforts to produce biofuels and renewable energy as well as the role of agriculture and forestry in a reduced carbon economy.
This year's Summit returns to the Rosen Shingle Creek, which in 2007 was designated as a Florida Green Lodge. In addition, the summit will be carbon neutral through the retirement of carbon offset certificates.
Florida's "Farm to Fuel" initiative, inspired by the bi-partisan national organization "25x'25," seeks to enhance the market for and promote the production and distribution of renewable energy from Florida-grown crops, agricultural wastes and residues, and other biomass. In the process, it is designed to give Florida agricultural producers alternative crops to grow to keep their farms and ranches viable.
Bronson believes Florida can lead the nation in the production of renewable energy as a result of its mild climate, abundant sunshine, ample rainfall and long growing season.
Information about the "Farm to Fuel" initiative and the upcoming summit can be found at http://www.FloridaFarmToFuel.com.