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November 13-15, 2005
Beijing, China

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December 13-15, 2005
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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February 5-8, 200
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February 20-22, 200
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June 20-23, 200
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

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Posted on  

October 9, 2002

Harsdorf Says All Farmers Should Support Ethanol

Wisconsin Ag Connection Editors - 10/09/2002

Wisconsin's agriculture secretary says the people of the Badger State have every reason to support the ethanol industry--especially if they are farmers. This week, Jim Harsdorf sent an editorial to the state's agricultural media organizations, saying a lot has been accomplished in the past year, but much remains to be done.
"Building and operating an ethanol plant can provide significant economic benefits to the rural community, boosting the agricultural economy and underpinning the tax base," Harsdorf said in the letter. "Studies show that a 40 million gallon ethanol plant, like the Badger Plant that opened in Monroe this fall, pumps an estimated $142 million into the local economy during start up, and continues to spend more than $56 million annually. Every dollar spent on annual operations circulates several times throughout the entire local economy."

The message came one week after two ethanol plants were halted by local opposition. In Winnebago County, a circuit court judge reversed the rezoning of the 24-acre parcel of land in the town of Utica where the Algoma Ethanol plant is currently under construction. The following day, a board of zoning appeals has turned down a conditional use permit for Stonic Energy's proposed project near Menomonie.

But Harsdorf says there are a lot of benefits local ethanol plants have to offer that the public may not realize, include expanding the economic base of the local economy; creation of new jobs; generating tax revenue for state and local governments; and creating a new market for corn growers.

Another benefit of ethanol production is the reduced cost of feeding livestock, as byproducts like distillers' grains from ethanol fermentation can be used to feed cattle.

Meanwhile, studies show that over 759 million bushels of corn are converted into 1.9 billion gallons of ethanol each year in the United States, making corn the most widely used energy crop in the U.S.

"Wisconsin ranks tenth nationally in corn production and exports 145 million bushels of corn per year - equal to 363 million gallons of ethanol," Harsdorf said. "But last year Wisconsin imported more than 125 million gallons of ethanol."

And the state's top farm official says ethanol can help protect the environment because the federal Clean Air Act mandates the sale of reformulated gasoline in some areas to reduce toxic and noxious emissions from vehicles. Five counties in eastern Wisconsin are among them.



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