Brownfield, MO 06-13-06 Iowa Farm Bureau commits to ISU program by Jerry Passer The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) has committed $1 million to the Iowa State College of Agriculture to support the university-wide Bioeconomy Initiative, which develops technologies for converting crops and plant materials into chemicals, fuels, fibers and energy. “Iowa State University’s (ISU) Bioeconomy Initiative is helping Iowa become a National leader in developing new sources of energy, fuels and other projects from renewable, Iowa-based resources rather than from petroleum,” said Gregory Geoffroy, ISU president. The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s generous support for our efforts in this area is a strong acknowledgement of the high quality work of our faculty, staff and students in developing our biorenewable resources and we are very grateful to the Farm Bureau for their support.” IFBF’s gift will be used to provide support for the Office of Biorenewable Programs, including additional faculty and staff salaries and new collaborations in research, educational and outreach activities. “Iowa is blessed with abundant agricultural assets that are critical in developing alternative energy sources,” said IFBF President Craig Lang. Lang went on to say that Farm Bureau was pleased to partner with a high caliber institute such as ISU to help leverage assets, nurtured from the state’s farmers, and lead the nation in renewable energy development. The Bioeconomy Institute was launched by President Geoffroy in 2002 as one of several “big impact” programs to respond to critical needs in Iowa and the country. The initiative’s aim is to investigate the use of plants and crops to produce chemicals, fuels, materials and energy to reduce the country’s alliance on imported petroleum. In the past year, nearly 50 externally funded projects have addressed research, education and extension in Bioeconomy issues. Recent research includes: -Using ultrasonics to squeeze out more ethanol from corn -Creating biodiesel polymers from a byproduct of biodiesel production -Developing enzyme-laced water systems to process soybeans to replace petroleum based chemicals -Using corn stover biomass to produce a nitrogen-rich substance that enriches the soil and sequesters carbon from the air ISU was the first university in the United States to establish a graduate program in biorenewable resources and technology and offers one of the few master’s and doctorial degrees in this field.