Farm Journal Technology: An energized summit was held this week – literally. Not only was the discussion lively, the topic itself was about the current and future energy needs of the agriculture industry and new ways farmers can help contribute to energy production. The Southeast Energy Alliance (SEA) held its 2012 Southeast Ag-Energy Summit on Monday, Dec. 17. The event gathered up regional Farm Bureau representatives, politicians, agriculture association representatives and others to strike up a dialogue about the importance of affordable, reliable energy, challenges of renewable fuel and electricity, and more.

“Agriculture is very dependent on energy,” says SEA executive director Adam Waldeck. There is a ton of opportunity for them to be energy producers as well.”
Four panels held at the summit focused on a variety of topics, including the large energy needs of the agricultural sector.

“Twenty-five to 30% of our production costs are tied directly to energy,” says panelist Larry McKenzie with the South Carolina Farm Bureau. “Farmers have to make decisions looking 20 years down the road. We need a strong national energy policy so that our farmers can have certainty to make decisions about their energy use.”

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