The Bioenterprise and I-95 Rural Economic Summit will be held at multiple sites in and around Florence, S.C. on Sept. 19-20.

The summit will provide the latest information on agriculture and industry related opportunities for rural development in the area of bioenergy production.

The meeting will begin with registration at the PeeDee Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Florence at 9:00 a.m. on Sept. 19.

The morning sessions will feature presentations on bioenterprise opportunities for farmers and land-owners in the Carolinas.

Hosts for the two morning sessions will be Mac Horton, director of Clemson’s Institute for Economic and Community Development and Larry Boyleston, president of the South Carolina Biomass Council.

Among the speakers at the morning sessions will be Toby Ahrens, senior scientist with BioProcess Algae, who will discuss, “Using Algae to Maximize the Value from Corn and Cellulosics.” USDA-ARS Scientist Phil Bauer will close the morning sessions with a presentation on “Future BioEnterprise Opportunities: Effectively Using Water.”

A tour of crop research at the Pee Dee Center and a tour of Florence-Darlington Technical College’s Southeastern Institute for Manufacturing Technology will highlight the afternoon session of the first day’s events.

Included on the afternoon program will be Jack Shuler, president of the Palmetto Agribusiness Council and Paul Ulanch, executive director of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

The Friday, Sept. 20 sessions will be held at Francis Marion University, also in Florence, S.C. The morning session will feature several success stories in which agriculture and technology have worked together to provide new opportunities for Carolina farmers.

Among the speakers at the morning session will be Woody Swink, a partner in Effingham, S.C.-based McCall Farms; Jason Finnis, CEO and Founder Naturally Advanced Technology, which has brought flax production back to the Carolinas; and Hunter Harris, operations director for Charleston, S.C.-based MWV (Meadwestvaco) Specialty Chemicals.

The meeting will close with an afternoon session at Francis Marion University. Among the speakers at the afternoon session will be Clemson Agronomist and Biomass Specialist Jim Frederick and ICF International Director Erika Myers, who will talk about the history and value of the Bioenterprise Summit to the economic development of rural areas of the Carolinas.

For more information about the Summit or to register for the event, go to www.scbioenterprises.com or contact Jim Frederick at mailto:jfrdrk@clemson.edu.

(For an earlier look at the possibilities of bioenergy on South Carolina farms, see South Carolina Bioenergy Summit shows farm options).