Bioenergy conference held in Tifton - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bioenergy conference held in Tifton

July 31, 2007

Tifton -- What's long been the food and fiber of South Georgia's agricultural industry is now sealed tight, a liquid inside mason jars.

Cotton, peanut, and soy biodiesel; all alternative forms of fuel resources grown on Georgia farms. Hundreds gathered Tuesday at UGA's Tifton campus to discuss Georgia's potential to become a leader in the bioenergy market.

"It is a big deal, and it's got a lot of promise. The thing I tried to address to the audience a few minutes ago was that we have to be patient. We can't expect it to happen yesterday, but if we give it strong support, a lot of great things can happen in the future," said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin.

And so far, the future looks bright for Georgia's bioenergy market. The state currently boasts 10 bioenergy companies, with 80 more considering moving to the state.

This could essentially propel Georgia as a global leader in the field of alternative energy; potentially easing American dependency of foreign oil while creating jobs and utilizing Georgia's farming, timber, and recycling industries.

While it may be hard for some folks to believe that a tractor can actually be powered by soybeans, bioenergy experts say this form of new crop technologies is the wave of the future, and that's something Governor Sonny Perdue agrees with.

He said, "I don't think there's been a more exciting time as our vision goes global about the input of helping the economy, helping the environment, and helping national security all at the same time."

While the market continues to advance, the future is already here. Alternative fuels from old tires, corn, even pine trees now operate race cars. Even K.I.T.T. from the Knight Rider series with all its gadgetry, is operated on alternative fuels.

"In all fairness to Larry the Cable Guy, Georgia is a Get er' done state," said Gov. Perdue.

A get er' done state with the tools to become a global energy leader.

This was the 2nd annual Southeast Bioenergy Conference held at UGA's Tifton campus.

It will continue through August 2nd.

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