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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Press Release

ZeaChem Selected for $232.5 Million USDA Loan Guarantee

January 26, 2012 |

Award to Support Construction of ZeaChem’s First Commercial-Scale Cellulosic Biorefinery

News Release – Lakewood, Colo. – Jan. 26, 2012 – ZeaChem Inc., a developer of biorefineries for the conversion of renewable biomass into sustainable fuels and chemicals, today announced it has been selected for a $232.5 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program. The conditional commitment enables the financing and construction of ZeaChem’s first commercial-scale cellulosic biorefinery, a state-of-the-art plant that will produce bio-based fuels and chemicals from woody biomass and agricultural residues with the highest yield, lowest capital cost, and lowest carbon footprint in the industry. Read More

USDA Unveils New Plant Hardiness Zone Map

January 25, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released the new version of its Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM), updating a useful tool for gardeners and researchers for the first time since 1990 with greater accuracy and detail. The new map—jointly developed by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Oregon State University’s (OSU) PRISM Climate Group—is available online at www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA.

For the first time, the new map offers a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based interactive format and is specifically designed to be Internet-friendly. The map website also incorporates a “find your zone by ZIP code” function. Static images of national, regional and state maps have also been included to ensure the map is readily accessible to those who lack broadband Internet access. Read More

Community Supported Agriculture grows rapidly in California’s Central Valley

January 12, 2012 |

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) – farms that regularly provide fresh produce directly to members – is growing rapidly in California’s Central Valley and surrounding foothills, according to a new study published in the January–March 2012 issue of the University of California’s California Agriculture journal.

Total membership in the CSAs surveyed (n = 46) increased exponentially from an estimated 672 members in 1990 to 32,938 members in 2010. Most CSAs in California’s Central Valley and surrounding foothills were relatively small (20 acres on average), produced a broad range of crops (44 on average) and adhered to organic or sustainable growing practices. Read More

Video – Presentation by Seth Burns of Biogas & Electric on Tech to Improve Anaerobic Digestion

December 13, 2011 |

Seth Burns, CEO and CFO of Biogas & Electric, discusses the ability of his NOx reduction technology to significantly improve the anaerobic digestion process, thereby increasing the economic viability, sustainability, and social impact of agricultural industries.

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San Diego, CA Event to Focus on Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship and Marketplace

November 28, 2011 |

San Diego, CA, November 28, 2011 – Despite the fragile state of the economy, a burgeoning crop of agricultural entrepreneurs is beginning to sprout in San Diego, CA, poised to develop sustainable and profitable solutions to meet the food and energy demands of a world population forecast to peak at 9 billion by 2050. From high tech indoor urban farms that utilize the latest vertical farming technology to grow food cleanly, efficiently and without chemicals to renewable energy technology that generates electricity from agricultural waste, these entrepreneurs are at the forefront of a sustainable agriculture industry that is set to experience explosive growth.

On Wednesday, November 30, to explore this flight to innovation in agriculture, Seedstock, in association with the Rady Entrepreneur Club, an affiliate organization of the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego is set to host a panel discussion sponsored by Whole Foods Market that will feature six of San Diego’s most innovative entrepreneurs discussing their approaches to building new companies in the lucrative and fast growing sustainable agriculture marketplace. Read More