March 19, 2007

GOAL DAY AT INL NETS STRONG INTEREST

Crapo notes Global Opportunities for Agriculture at the Lab

Washington, DC - The word is out, and a discussion on global opportunities for Idaho agriculture represented at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is drawing a near capacity crowd, given the fact the group will travel via bus and must meet security restrictions. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo announced plans last month for the first-ever GOAL (Global Opportunities for Agriculture at the Laboratory) Day at the INL tomorrow, March 20th. Crapo said today that at least thirty people have indicated they will attend the event. It will feature tours and discussions of what the INL offers in terms of agricultural-related issues such as commodity research, biofuels, cellulosic ethanol, trade and other topics.In remarks prepared for video delivery at the GOAL Day event, Crapo said the event, co-sponsored by Battelle Energy Alliance, will allow Idahoans to become more knowledgeable about how activities at the INL can benefit Idaho farm produces and related business and industry. "Competitiveness is driven by access to innovation," Crapo said. "Production agriculture can reap untold benefits from the extensive work being done at the Lab. Research and development here touches many phases of production and has relevance for alternative cropping, value-added initiatives and, of course now, the excitement being created by the potential for renewable fuels of various kinds."A member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Crapo stressed that the new Farm Bill will continue to promote agriculture in alternative energy production and that partnering with the INL will bear fruit for Idaho agriculture. "Eastern Idaho has the potential to become a national leader in the cellulosic ethanol industry," Crapo added. "As the industry develops across Idaho, the Lab has the potential to plan an important role in the development of this exciting alternative to corn-based ethanol. The Lab has a long history of partnerships with other research facilities, land grant colleges, and various research universities in cooperative ventures to maximize research dollars spent. This tour will provide a new appreciation of the INL and its dedicated staff."The tour includes Idaho commodity groups, agricultural leaders, educators, Congressional staff, university and research staff, agricultural bankers and lenders, and the Idaho FFA.