Farmers Banking on Renewable Fuels
"We're interested in investing in renewable fuels," said Scott Coleman. "We think it's going to help the economy, both local and nationwide, and also we're interested in value-adding our production back at the farm."
Coleman raises corn, soybeans, milo, winter wheat and beef cattle with his brother and father. They already have invested in a biodiesel plant and a couple of ethanol plants. Coleman said the investments are another income source if crop yields are low.
"As family farmers it gives us a chance to combine our efforts with other farmers so that we're a larger group," he explained. "We get to take advantage of larger markets, and also there's more security being part of one of these organizations rather than trying to go at it alone."
The grain producer Cargill wants mid-Missouri farmers to invest in a $40 million biodiesel plant to be built in Kansas City.
"This is producing more energy for the nation and it's being produced internally and not being imported from overseas," said Greg Sharpe, a plant board member. "Most of your farmers are patriotic Americans, so we certainly want to increase our fuel, lessen our fuel dependency from overseas. The more production we can keep local, the more dollars we can keep in the local economy the better."
Plant construction starts next month in Kansas City, and Missouri's Biodiesel Board is traveling throughout the state to tell farmers about it.
The board will be in Sedalia's Union Savings Bank at 5 p.m. this Wednesday, then in the Mexico-Audrain County Library at 9:15 a.m. next Monday.