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Biobased products hold the promise of enhancing America's energy security, bringing greater diversity and stability to American agriculture, and promoting opportunities for economic development in rural areas. Because of current global events and economic instability, the demand is growing rapidly for domestic sources of energy and biobased products.
American consumers have felt the pinch of high energy costs. American farmers have been experiencing economic hardships as well, resulting in a devastating exodus to urban centers. Viable economic alternatives and diversity are needed in agriculture to bolster the Nation's independent farm families.
Agriculture can reduce America's reliance on imported fossil fuels and petroleum-based products by producing feedstock for a biobased shift to production of . . .
The mission of the Sun Grant Initiative is to
A network of five land-grant universities serve as regional Sun Grant centers: South Dakota State University, Oregon State University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, and Cornell University. Oregon State University is the Western Regional Center of the Sun Grant Initiative.
The Sun Grant Initiative will create university-based research, extension and educational programs for biobased energy technologies. Much of the initiative's focus is on generating new and innovative ideas. Accordingly, three-fourths of the Initiative's funding is earmarked for competitive grants.
The Sun Grant Initiative will enlist the resources of the land-grant universities. Partnerships with private sector entities, foundations, other educational institutions, local, state and federal governments and other organizations will be essential.
A new era is dawning for research, rural development and land-grant service, and it holds great potential for the universities and rural economies of the United States.
The founding principles of the Sun Grant Initiative are to develop biobased products, many of them with industrial applications, and to stimulate renewed economic activity, particularly in rural areas, through renewable energy and new biobased, non-food industries.
Authorization and funding this nationwide biobased energy research program has provided momentum. Now is the time to consider the impacts and benefits this landmark initiative holds for your region and to identify roles that your organization can have in this important effort.