Experts on renewable energy will gather in Stephenville, Texas, in late January for a forum on how rural communities and agriculture in Texas can benefit from developing wind power, solar power, biomass and other forms of renewable energy.

The forum, "Renewable Energy Opportunities for Rural Communities and Agriculture," will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 26 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 1229 North Hwy 281 in Stephenville, Texas.

The event is presented by the Rural Alliance for Renewable Energy (RARE).  It is sponsored by the Agrilife Research and Extension Center in Stephenville and by RARE members including Texas Department of Rural Affairs (TDRA), Texas Department of Agriculture, Comptroller's State Energy Conservation Office, Texas Farm Bureau and Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association.

"This forum will be an opportunity for dairy farmers, rural community leaders and others to get information first hand on how they might benefit from developing their renewable energy resources," said Charlie Stone, executive director of TDRA.

The forum will feature presentations by state agencies and renewable energy companies on the impact of renewable energy on rural communities in Texas and on the development of wind power and transmission for wind power in the state.

Other topics will include utilizing anaerobic digesters to produce energy from dairy cow manure.  An update will be presented on Tarleton State University's new Southwest Regional Dairy Center, a model dairy that will implement innovative energy efficiency and energy conversion technologies such as converting manure into biofuels and biogas.

Bob Avant, Texas AgriLife program director, will brief forum attendees on the latest in biofuels research in Texas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development will discuss financial help for renewable energy projects for agriculture and rural businesses.

Cost of the forum is $10, paid on site, and seating is limited to 85.  To register, email or call (512) 936-7878. 

Source: Texas Dairy Matters