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Ethanol Facility Powered by Renewable Energy From Dairy Waste Planned For Fair Oaks Dairy Farm in Indiana

(CSRwire) FAIR OAKS, Ind. -- Bion Environmental Technologies and Fair Oaks Dairy Farms, the largest dairy east of the Mississippi River and an industry leader in efforts to find a solution to dairy environmental issues, today announced a joint venture that will enable environmentally sustainable expansion of animal agriculture in concert with ethanol production. Bion’s patented animal waste technology supports the synergistic integration of ethanol production with animal agriculture by enabling herd concentration. Herd concentration both provides the scale needed to achieve the economically viable generation of renewable energy in support of ethanol production, and establishes a stable local market for the entire volume of produced co-product distiller grains without the need for drying.

Bion’s technology platform provides sufficient renewable energy from the associated animal waste stream to produce ethanol absent any outside fuel source such as natural gas or coal, while it directly addresses the growing long-term risk to distiller grains revenues as those markets become increasingly saturated by the continued expansion of U.S. ethanol production. The result of Bion’s unique integration of ethanol with animal agriculture is economic and environmental sustainability for both.

Early results indicate that implementation of Bion’s patented and proprietary technology improves the net energy balance in the production of ethanol from corn from 1.4 to 1 up to 2.5 to 1. In essence, Bion’s technology platform utilizes the inherent energy value of the cellulosic component of the manure stream to improve both net energy value and margins in the production of ethanol.

The integrated Bion platform incorporating ethanol production at Fair Oaks will be a balanced, closed-loop system that the company’s research indicates will create sufficient renewable energy to support one million gallons of ethanol for every 1,000 dairy cows. "Based on Bion’s ratio forecast between herd concentration and ethanol production, it appears that both heat energy and ethanol co-product can be in balance in an environmentally sustainable manner," according to John Ewen of Ardour Capital, an advisor to Bion.

The two-stage joint venture announced today provides for the construction of a research center in Stage One to determine the economic and environmental sustainability of utilizing sand bedding in conjunction with Bion’s technology platform. Based upon that evaluation, Stage Two will include a Bion treatment system for Fair Oaks’ dairy herd and potentially other local dairy herds, along with an ethanol plant of a size to be determined by the number of participating dairy animals. Stage I construction is expected to commence shortly; Stage II is projected to commence in 2007.

End products from the animal waste stream in Bion’s proprietary system include renewable energy, and high-value biological solids to be marketed as either organic fertilizer or as a high-protein animal feed ingredient for other species.

Bion’s implementation plan projects a number of dairies located within a geographic area, each with modular waste treatment facilities capable of handling the waste stream of 10,000 dairy cows or more. Renewable energy produced by the Bion technology platform will meet the natural gas requirements of an ethanol plant on a ratio of 1,000 dairy cows to one million gallons of ethanol production. This model will enable Bion to secure burner-tip (retail) values for the renewable energy produced, instead of wellhead (wholesale) values presently being achieved by anaerobic digesters and other renewable energy technologies focused on the animal waste market.

Expanded herd concentration directly resulting from the implementation of Bion's patented technology platform can lower capital costs while significantly improving operating margins of expanding or new ethanol facilities. Ethanol production sites will not require dryers, eliminating both the capital and the imbedded energy costs in the corn co-products. In addition, the ability to create a local herd in immediate proximity to the ethanol plant essentially eliminates the distiller grains marketing and revenue risk, reducing transportation costs and eliminating the requirement for natural gas in the site selection process. It will enable existing older plants and East Coast facilities to "create" markets for their ethanol co-product, and therefore to remain competitive with newer larger facilities in the Midwest.

Bion’s patented technology significantly reduces environmental impacts of large-scale animal farming while enabling herd concentration required for economies of scale in the generation of renewable energy. The patented "microaerobic" process for biologically treating dairy waste encapsulates most of the pollutants so they can no longer escape into the air and water, reducing the nutrient content of the treated waste stream in the effluent discharge by 75-90% and air emissions by 90-99%. The closed-loop ethanol production system simultaneously provides an end user for the undried distiller grains and for the dairy’s waste stream.

The new research center at Fair Oaks will also test the closed-loop ethanol-production system with waste from other farm animals, such as hogs and beef cattle.

For more information on Bion’s system performance data, peer review team and test protocols, see http://www.biontech.com/technology.

About Fair Oaks Dairy Farms: Dr. Michael J. McCloskey, one of the principals of Fair Oaks Dairy Farms, has held leadership roles at all levels of the dairy industry. A veterinarian by training, he is also active in the ownership and management of other dairies in New Mexico, Michigan, and Indiana, and previously operated two dairies in Southern California. He founded in 1992 and continues to co-own and manage Quality Milk Sales, which is responsible for marketing over 4 billion pounds of milk a year on behalf of Select Milk Producers and Continental Dairy Products, whose operations stretch through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. He was instrumental in the formation of the Southwest Agency, which controls the marketing and transportation of virtually all milk in Texas and New Mexico on behalf of private dairy farmer cooperatives. Its success has been viewed as a model for achieving price stability without government intervention in other parts of the country. Dr. McCloskey is acting chairman of the Southwest Cheese Company, set up to handle 10 million pounds of milk per day, and serves on the board of the National Milk Producers Federation, participating in the Federal Order Policy and Dairy Export Policy committees. In 2004 he started a large-scale agri-tourism and brand-building experience, the Fair Oaks Dairy Adventure and Fair Oaks Dairy Products Partnerships.

About Bion: Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc.’s patented and proprietary technology for large dairy farms (as well as swine and other animal facilities) mitigates the nutrient releases to water and gaseous emissions to air created by the waste streams of such operations while enabling profitable integration of renewable energy production (methane and ethanol). Bion’s stock trades under the symbol “BNET” on the Pink Sheets. This material includes forward-looking statements based on management's current reasonable business expectations. In this document, the word “intends” and similar expressions identify certain forward-looking statements. These statements are made in reliance on the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Section 27A of the Securities act of 1933, as amended. There are numerous risks and uncertainties that could result in actual results differing materially from expected outcomes.

For further information, please visit the Bion website at http://www.biontech.com, or contact

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For more information please contact:

John Ewen, Ardour Capital Partners, LLC
(212) 375-2950, ext.

Mark Smith, President and General Counsel
(719) 256-5329 office
(303) 517-5302 cell

David Mager, Vice President – Public Policy
(413) 247-0120 office
(413) 427-1768 cell

Job announcement for sustainable or organic fruit and ornamental extension educator

Please pass this announcement or apply yourself  if you qualify and are interested in working with MSU extension to expand opportunities for Michigan fruit producers, including organic growers. Michigan offers a huge selection of fruit and ornamental production, unlike many of our neighboring states and this is a smorgasbord of opportunity for an educator interested in expanding and enhancing the markets and knowledge  for our fruit and ornamental producers, especially in the organic arena!! Please pass this along to anyone you feel may fill this great need.

June 2006
POSITION:   Extension Educator, Fruit & Ornamentals, Berrien County
OFFICE LOCATION:   Benton Harbor, MI
STATUS:   This position is funded 100% by a grant with appointment on an annual renewal basis. 
AVAILABLE:   September 15, 2006
APPLICATION DEADLINE:    August 18, 2006
STARTING SALARY:   Commensurate with training and experience up to $44,500.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE:   Apply using the Web Employment Application process at:  
Barbara Campbell
MSU Southwest
Michigan State University
3700 E. Gull Lake Drive
Corners, MI  49060
Phone:  269/671-2444
Fax:  269/671-2409
E-mail:  [log in to unmask]

Extension Agriculture and
Natural Resources Educator
Fruit and Ornamentals Area of Expertise
Berrien County
June 2006

Summary Description:
Berrien County is the state’s 14th most populous county at 162,453 persons (80% white, 16% African American). (Source: 2000 US Census)   The predominant economic segments are manufacturing, agriculture, and service/retail.  Berrien County is situated in the most southwestern corner of the state bordering Lake Michigan and the State of Indiana.
The moderate temperatures, soils, proximity to markets, and an established agricultural infrastructure combine to make Berrien County one the most diverse horticultural areas east of the Mississippi RiverBerrien County ranks second in Michigan for fruit production with 388 farms (17,580 acres) including apples, peaches, tart cherries, and grapes.  Both fresh-market vegetable production and an expanding ornamentals industry make up other components of horticulture.  (Source: 2004 County Agricultural Statistics; MASS)   A major Michigan State University horticulture research and demonstration center is located adjacent to the county Extension office.
General Responsibilities:
Provide leadership and cooperate in planning and delivering effective Extension educational programs in commercial horticulture with emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), especially in fruit and nursery crops.  Plan, develop, implement and evaluate Extension educational programs that focus on strengthening profitability.
1.        Provide research based technical and crop management information to farm operators, producers, agri business and related industries in the counties.
2.        Improve the knowledge and skills of producers and agri business personnel in the application of research-proven techniques to their production or marketing situations.
3.        Provide program leadership by collaborating with the County Extension Directors, extension educators, Extension Specialists and Area of Expertise (AoE) team members to deliver programs to the horticulture industry in Berrien County
4.        Contribute to the effective use of agricultural resources as a part of overall social, economic, and environmental development in the county.
5.        Represent MSU Extension on the USDA County Emergency Board and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and stay informed on matters that relate to farm commodity and farm chemical safety and security.
6.        Develop and support agriculture leadership within the Berrien County agriculture and natural resource community.
Specific Responsibilities:
1.        Provide Extension leadership in reviewing and assessing the horticulture industry situation in relation to the region, state, nation, and world.  Communicate and interact with related commodity groups.
2.        Provide leadership to determine priority needs in the horticulture industry in cooperation with local Extension staff and stakeholder groups.  Develop advisory group(s) or other structures for program development and input.
3.        Provide clientele/producers current and timely technical recommendations applicable to industry through farm visits, one to one contact, group presentations, newsletters, direct mail, news releases, electronic media and other means.  Provide farmers and other agriculturalists with the results of unbiased research results in agriculture and other related subject matter areas.
4.        Provide leadership and support to the Agricultural Industry through active participation in relevant Area of Expertise teams.
5.        Serve as the lead county Extension educator in matters pertaining to farm labor policy education and stay informed with key local and state organizations that support/coordinate/administer programs for farm labor.
6.        Serve as an information resource for Extension personnel throughout the district and region.  Maintain and update databases of horticulture producers to include: fruit, vegetable, ornamental horticulture, and floriculture.
7.        Develop Educational Initiatives, based upon program priorities in accordance with local needs, advisory groups, and established policies and procedures.
8.        Assist growers in developing a strong farm financial management system based on recordkeeping, cost of production data, computer assisted decision-making and long-range planning.
9.        Cooperate with other educators, with AOE team, with campus based departments/specialists in establishing, conducting, and evaluating demonstrations and research efforts in the area.  Cooperate with other USDA, county, and state agencies that support agriculture industries.
10.     Communicate the Extension and research needs of the area to campus based departments, crop integrators, and research partners.  Assist departments and AOE team in determining these needs through interaction with state commodity groups and associations
11.     Cooperate with county and campus based Extension staff in developing and implementing programs for improved crop production and products (including strategies for value added products), improved management decision making, and overall advancement in the industry.  Conduct educational programming in proper pesticide use, storage, and safety.
12.     Regularly share plans and results with County Extension Director and other appropriate Extension colleagues.
13.     Develop and utilize appropriate media methods to communicate current information about the industry to producers.  Use communication technologies (e mail, FAX, Web Page, etc.) to keep producers aware of current pest conditions.
14.     Actively participate in conferences, in service education, and professional development activities to continually improve technical expertise and proficiency as an educator.  Submit reports, evaluations, and other materials in a timely fashion, as required by MSUE.
15.     Facilitate interactions with appropriate industry groups and associations within the region as well as on a statewide basis.
16.     Work with appropriate team members to meet the natural resource and public policy programming needs related to agriculture, environment, and land use issues.
17.     Work with Extension Council and other advisory groups for support of Extension programming.
18.     Implement the directives and objectives of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action regarding the availability of Extension programs.  Strive to reach a diverse audience and extend Extension programs to under served audiences.
19.     Perform other duties as assigned.
Master's degree related to horticulture with focus on fruit and/or ornamentals.  Course work or experience in integrated pest or crop management or entomology preferred.  Three years of Extension and/or Extension related experience.  Experience in improved crops management practices to increase profitability, reduce undesirable environmental impacts, manage insects and diseases, and food safety.  Prior experiences in conducting programs related to Integrated Pest Management, Integrated Crop Management and value added products preferred.  Knowledge of farm management practices such as farm labor, records, financial planning, marketing channels and organizations preferred. Demonstrated ability to develop leadership in the agriculture community. Ability to manage multiple and varied tasks required.  Ability to accept and delegate responsibility.  Effective oral and written communication skills.  Knowledge and skills in the use of computers for use in educational programming and management required. Understanding of and a commitment to equal opportunity, affirmative action and diversity/pluralism. Upon employment, must reside within Berrien County (waiver available under certain circumstances).
Responsible to:
This position is responsible to the County Extension Director in Berrien County.  Interacts with input from the Regional Director, appropriate CEDs and educators in counties served by this position, Area of Expertise team, campus specialists, and other Extension or campus department personnel, as needed.
Michigan State University Extension employment opportunities are open to eligible/qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status.  Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodations.

MSU Southwest
3700 E. Gull Lake Drive
Hickory Corners, MI  49060
Phone:  269/671-2444
Fax:  269/671-2409
E-mail:  [log in to unmask]



END 0f MI organic news for week of June 19-23

Wish you all a good week ahead!!



Vicki Morrone

Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist

Michigan State University

C.S. Mott Sustainable Food Systems

303 Natural Resources Bldg.

East Lansing, MI 48824


517-282-3557 (cell)

517-353-3834 (fax)

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