12th Annual Southern BioProducts and Renewable Energy Conference

Tentative Agenda

September 17-18, 2013

Tunica, MS

September 17, 2013

Time Event Speakers
1:00 p.m. Welcome and Opening Keynote Randy Rousseau, MBREC President
Lieutenant General (Retired) John Castellaw, Crockett Policy Institute
1:30 p.m. The Meaning of Sustainability
The word "sustainability" means different things to different people, but the definition we'll use here is that for something to be sustainable, it must be able to last for an extended period of time. In the context of this conference, sustainability encompasses not only environmental stewardship by ensuring that natural resources are used in a thoughtful and efficient manner for the betterment of society, but also in a manner that promotes region-wide economic prosperity. Presenters on this panel will provide perspectives from different organizations on how they define sustainability. This panel will cover some of the legal aspects of defining sustainability, academic institutions' approach to energy efficiency and what the public's perception of sustainability implies for businesses that are involved in producing renewable fuels.
J.D. Hardy, Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning;
Nick Landau, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings;
John Schelhas, USDA Forest Service;
Sarah Hitchner, University of Georgia
Kyle Crider, Ecotech Institute and Education Corporation of America
2:45 p.m. Poster Judging Session/Break
All conference attendees will have a unique opportunity to learn about cutting edge research. This research is being conducted by undergraduate and graduate students from all over the Southeast. Conference attendees will have an important job during this session. They will vote for the top three posters presented by the students. The chosen students will receive cash awards at the conference luncheon.
3:30 p.m. Sustainable Economic Development
Sustainability is becoming a huge component of the economic development lexicon. Expert economic development professionals will discuss how an emphasis on sustainability is changing how they conduct business. Here you will learn how their respective organizations approach and evaluate sustainability-related companies and how the game has changed.
Jim Clinton, Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance
4:00 p.m. Listening Session with the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS)
This is the first listening session being conducted by the USDA-ARS in the southeastern United States and it will be focused on biomass feedstock issues. While this region of the country has a tremendous competitive advantage in growing various types of biomass, many barriers remain to effectively and economically producing higher value added products from biomass. This exclusive listening session is an opportunity for all conference attendees including agricultural producers, biomass conversion technology providers, and transportation logistics personnel to provide feedback directly to officials from the USDA-ARS on the challenges that still exist and what seems to be working. ARS officials from the headquarters in Washington D.C. and from the research facility in Stoneville, Mississippi will be on hand to gather this information that may lead to matching up USDA-ARS researchers with specific issues for developing concrete solutions.
Moderator: Sumesh Arora, Strategic Biomass Solutions;
Cathleen Cohn, USDA - Agricultural Research Service
5:00 p.m. Pick Up Buffet Tickets  

September 18, 2013

Time Event Speakers
7:30 a.m. Breakfast  
8:30 a.m. Mechanics of Sustainability
How should businesses and communities approach sustainability? This panel will discuss the diverse practices that businesses and communities are using for sustainability-related projects. Presenters representing non-profits, industry, utilities and more will provide information on the overlap of sustainability with business, and how sustainable practices have made a difference for a variety of stakeholders, from individual businesses to large geographic regions.
Shawn Blenis, Altumetrics;
Tami Hornbeck, alt.Consulting;
Pat Riley, Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council/Gibson County Utilities District;
David Sparks,Tennessee Valley Authority
10:00 a.m. Morning Break  
10:30 a.m. Future of Sustainability
This panel will revolve around the latest technologies and developments in sustainable technologies at the research and commercial levels. Leading experts in this field will speak about environmentally sustainable biofuels, promising federal research, and solar energy industry trends. The world is rapidly changing in regards to energy; this panel will spotlight innovations and the future of this field.
John Kasbaum, KiOR;
Marie-Hélène Labrie, Enerkem;
Thomas Klasson, USDA - Agricultural Research Service;
Jack Barnett, Kentucky Solar Energy Society
12:00 p.m. Luncheon Keynote
The lunch keynote speaker is Ms. Lillian Salerno, Administrator for the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development – Rural Cooperative and Business Services (RBCS). Ms. Salerno will discuss the importance of sustainability related efforts at the federal level and the various programs at the USDA that have helped promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Lillian Salerno, USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service with introduction by Trina George, State Director, USDA Rural Development
1:30 p.m. Policies for Sustainability
Hear from elected officials and stakeholders as they discuss the impact of policy and legislation on sustainability efforts. These will include energy efficiency, wind energy, and other emerging areas. This panel includes speakers from respected organizations that focus on legislation and how policy is changing to advance energy efficiency and renewable practices.
Brandon Presley, Mississippi Public Service Commission;
Simon Mahan, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy;
Dan Saucier, Mississippi Development Authority
3:00 p.m. Adjourn