Focus: Resource Energy Conservation and Sustainablity.
This is Module 2 of 15 of the Agriculture Energy Curriculum that provides non-biased material that puts students in a position to make a decision about the agricultural energy that interests them most, or is most cost effective for their own farms. User Guide is provided. This curriculum was produced by Eastern Iowa Community Colleges.
- Estimated Lecture Hours: 2
- Lab Hours: 1
- Format: PowerPoint
- Examine the three elements of sustainability that give consideration to social, environmental and economic factors (the Sustainability Trifecta).
- Outline sustainability concepts particular to agriculture and identify ways they can guide on-farm decisions that safeguard resources vital to farming itself.
- Give examples of methods to mitigate and remediate agricultural activities (i.e., riparian buffers, biochar, contour farming, cover crops, agroforestry, companion planting, wetland mitigation and mycofiltration).
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
TEACHING NOTES / CONTEXT FOR USE
- Sustainability Trifecta (social, environmental, economic)
- Sustainability and farming decision making
- Mitgation methods and remediation
There is high interest among the forums in the topic of agriculture-based renewable energy technologies and the need to create jobs that meet energy demands in rural areas. In the last decade, bioscience has become one of the nation’s most significant sectors in research and economic activity and grew by 4.6% across the U.S., adding close to 270,000 jobs nationally. Agriculture biotechnology products totaled less than $1 billion in 1995, but grew to $10 billion in 2005. More than 1,100 companies are engaged in Iowa’s biosciences industry, employing over 72,000 highly-skilled workers. Some of the most promising biobased products are produced in immense quantities in rural areas.
This project was funded by the New Era Rural Technology Competitive Grants Program (USDA) which makes grants available to community colleges or advanced technological centers, located in a rural area, for technology development, applied research, and training necessary to produce graduates capable of strengthening the Nation’s technical, scientific and professional workforce in the fields of bioenergy, pulp and paper manufacturing, and agriculture-based renewable energy resources. Although, focused on Iowa – these technologies cross all geographical regions.
Iowa and Agricultural Energy
Iowa’s strengths in animal and plant sciences at its research universities and in the private sector point toward large-scale market potential and development of a bioscience sector. According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Iowa is the nation’s number one ethanol-producing state and ranks second in the production of biodiesel, processing more than 400 million bushels of corn into 1.1 billion gallons of ethanol annually and producing over 25% of U.S. biodiesel production. Iowa’s biofuels industries have added $8 billion to Iowa’s economy, generated $2 billion in new household income, and created 50,000 Iowa jobs. Agriculture households and rural communities have responded to government incentives and have expanded their production of renewable energy, primarily in the form of biofuels and wind power.
References and Resources