AFT & Argonne National Laboratory Form the Midwest Bioenergy Crop Coalition
American Farmland Trust’s (AFT) Midwest Team and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) are underway in their efforts to lead the Perennial Bioenergy Crop Diversification Project. One big success for the project is the formation of the Midwest Bioenergy Crop Coalition. Membership of this coalition is comprised of a diverse range of key stakeholders in the Midwest bioeconomy: farmers, policy advocates, researchers, non-profits, resource professionals, and industry leaders.
The priorities of the Midwest Bioenergy Crop Coalition will meet crop diversification goals and benefit the greater local Midwest bioeconomy by:
- Informing market development
- Exploring ecosystem services financing
- Identifying bioenergy crop opportunities in the Midwest
- Connecting producers with end use industries to assess feasibility
Currently, the coalition consists of approximately 20 members who meet quarterly to discuss emerging research and market development as well as creating solutions to address barriers to adoption and market gaps in bioeconomy. During the coalition’s first meeting in November of 2022, American Farmland Trust and Argonne National Laboratory shared a detailed project overview on perennial bioenergy crops and end use opportunities. They also conducted a live demonstration of Argonne’s new online decision-making tool, the “Scaling Up Perennial Bioenergy Economics & Ecosystem Services Tool,” commonly referred to as SUPERBEEST. Visit the Midwest Bioenergy official project webpage to learn more about SUPERBEEST. The November gathering included a breakout discussion to identify and address adoption barriers, market gaps, and desired outcomes for the coalition in 2023. These ideas allowed specific goals to take shape, which were further discussed during the coalition’s following meeting in February. During the February session, the following official goals were agreed upon by members of the coalition.
The key goals of the Midwest Bioenergy Crop Coalition:
- Developing education and training programs for perennial bioenergy cropping systems & end uses
- Broadening the market/scope of feedstock usage
- Connecting farmers with producers and educating both parties
- Developing long term trials
The coalition will gather for their next quarterly meeting in May 2023.
If you or your organization are interested in becoming a member of the Midwest Bioenergy Crop Coalition or receiving a demo of SUPERBEEST, please contact Marlee Giacometti, Midwest Program Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org.