Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has announced he is hosting a “Farm to Fuel” summit on July 18-20 at the Marriot Renaissance Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg.

Hoping to build on recent developments in Florida’s efforts to establish a renewable energy industry, Bronson said the meeting will cover current initiatives relating to ethanol and biodiesel, as well as other opportunities for renewable energy production in Florida.

“There has been a good deal of momentum recently in our drive to get this industry off the ground,” Bronson said. “We’re eager to share that with participants and provide them with the information they need to enter this industry.”

Florida’s “Farm to Fuel” initiative, inspired by the bi-partisan national organization “25x’25", seeks to enhance the market for and promote the production and distribution of renewable energy from Florida-grown crops, agricultural wastes and residues, and other biomass. In the process, it is designed to give Florida agricultural producers alternative crops to grow to keep their farms and ranches viable.

Last August in Orlando, Bronson hosted the first ever Florida “Farm to Fuel” summit, which attracted more than 300 participants, and the commissioner believes this year’s conference will be bigger and better.

Information about the “Farm to Fuel” initiative and the upcoming summit can be found at www.floridafarmtofuel.com.

Reservations for the summit should be made directly with the resort, which can be reached at (888) 303-4430 or www.vinoyrenaissanceresort.com

A month ago, the commissioner, along with Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Sole, awarded $15 million in state energy grants to producers for renewable energy projects. Bronson is seeking additional funding for the program from the legislature this spring.

Bronson believes Florida can lead the nation in the production of renewable energy as a result of its mild climate, abundant sunshine, ample rainfall and long growing season.

“We’re excited about the program and are looking forward to exploring with participants at the upcoming summit the potential in this industry that exists for their businesses,” Bronson said.