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Conference Name Developing a Biofuel and Wind Economics Education Program

Cole Gustafson


Risk Management and Marketing Decisions in The ERA of Biofuels

This presentation describes the creation of a new renewable energy risk management education outreach program. The goal of the program was to prepare attendees for making risk managmeent and marketing decisions in the new era of biofuels. Instead of focusing on commodities, the program provided a grounding in both energy markets and biofuels legislation, and then proceeded to delineate implications of growing feedstock and resource demands. Producers then delineated implications for their firms and reviewed the merits of alternative risk management strategies. Most prominent was a comparison of margin management with traditional farm goals of selling at market peaks. While the program was originally grant funded with USDA/RMA monies, the activity has now been formalized with state resources. Workshop presentations and bi-weekly newsletters are the programs main products. In 2008, over 40 sessions in 10 states have been delivered. Underpinning the program was a coordinated applied research program that built relationships and trust with the biofuels industry. Delivery of state-specific research results differentiated this program from plethora of other commercial and public biofuel education programs.

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