As the nation's worst oil spill in history threatens the Gulf Coast and its energy, tourism and fishing industries, Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is continuing his efforts to promote the production of renewable energy from Florida's vast biomass resources.

Bronson is hosting the 2010 "Farm to Fuel" Summit, Aug. 11-13, at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando to bring together hundreds of industry leaders in agriculture, energy, academia and government who want to make Florida a leader in the production of renewable energy.

"Florida has the greatest potential for biomass production in the country, and the technology exists to convert our natural resources to clean, renewable energy," Bronson said. "This event will bring together all the stakeholders so we can continue working toward the goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil while at the same time providing another source of income for our farmers."

For the fifth year in a row, hundreds of industry leaders in agriculture, energy, academia, banking and finance, and government will gather to hear from a broad array of experts. Highlights of the summit include more than 40 speakers and 50 exhibitors. Last July, Bronson's fourth Florida "Farm to Fuel" summit attracted more than 500 participants. Attendees of this year's summit will hear about various feedstocks and technologies for renewable energy production, challenges relating to project financing, permitting and infrastructure, and state and federal energy policy.

"The summit will bring representatives of all the key industries together so we can move forward as a state in creating renewable energy in Florida," Bronson said. "Thanks to our mild climate, ample sunshine and abundant rainfall, there's no reason why Florida cannot out-produce every other state in renewable energy production and be a model for others to follow."

Florida's "Farm to Fuel" initiative — inspired by the bipartisan 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.

For details about the "Farm to Fuel" Summit, visit http://www.FloridaFarmToFuel.com.