500 attend Bioenergy 2002 in Boise, Idaho

By Kathy Bryan, BBI International Vice President | November 01, 2002
About 500 hundred people attended the Bioenergy 2002 Conference, Bioenergy for the Environment, hosted by the U.S Department of Energy, Pacific Regional Biomass Energy Program, in Boise, Idaho in September. Some of the objectives of the conference were to:
-Showcase existing and near-term opportunities for converting biomass into useful products.
¨Provide exposure to breakthrough bioenergy technologies and near-commercial bioenergy programs.
¨Highlight the common bond with agriculture where biomass meets the road … agriculture plus energy.

John Crockett, the Idaho Energy Office co-chair of the conference, said these objectives and more were accomplished most successfully. "The conference also provided an important forum for state contact meetings and for mixing industry, utility and agricultural communities with bioenergy technology providers," said Crockett.

A new feature of this year's conference was the well-attended Biomass Energy Town Meeting to which local citizens were invited to sessions and the exhibition one evening. Chuck Peterson, the University of Idaho co-chair said, "We wanted to reach out to a greater populous and take the opportunity to share how bioenergy can impact everyone."

Awards of Recognition
The conference also provided an opportunity to recognize people who had done outstanding work in the field of bioenergy. Three awards were specific to the ethanol industry. Dave Vander Griend, President and CEO of ICM, Inc. headquartered in Colwich, Kansas, received the Western Regional Biomass Energy Program Award for his company's leadership in technological improvements in the production of ethanol, helping the industry reduce costs and reach new heights in production efficiencies. Ralph Groschen, Marketing Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, was also awarded for his role in developing the widely recognized Minnesota Model by the Great Lakes Regional Program. Also, long time ethanol advocate, Bill Holmberg of Global Biorefinery, was applauded by the audience as he received the Conference's Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his numerous efforts over many years. Several other people were recognized for their excellence in the field of bioenergy. Those award recipients are listed on the conference website at www.uidaho.edu/bioenergy.