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CALS receives national award for its bioenergy initiatives

Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) will receive a Grand Challenge award June 19 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its vision in how it will "contribute in the emerging bio economy."

The award, which recognizes Cornell's vision paper, "Big Red's Big Green Initiatives: Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Vision for the Bioenergy Future," will be presented at the second annual Bioenergy Awareness Days (BEAD) at the National Arboretum, in Washington, D.C., June 19-22. Sponsored by the USDA, BEAD is an opportunity for the USDA and universities involved in bioenergy research, education and outreach to present a vision of the future of bioenergy in America.

Cornell's award-winning submission outlines the leading role the university will play in the development of viable energy from renewable resources in New York and throughout the Northeast. Cornell scientists are focusing on developing new energy resources that meet the "triple bottom line" -- systems that are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.

Their work is also creating new jobs and opportunities for New York and reducing reliance on fossil fuels as they seek to develop renewable energy resources that do not compete, but are consistent with an abundant and affordable food supply.

"We are exceptionally pleased to receive this award as it recognizes the many contributions being made by CALS," said Mike Hoffmann, director of the Cornell's Agricultural Experiment Station, and associate dean of CALS, who will accept the award on behalf of the college at a 3:30 p.m. reception, June 19, at the USDA's Whitten Building. "The depth and breadth of research and extension/outreach activities related to renewable energy at Cornell is impressive."

The Grand Challenge competition is sponsored by the USDA and the 25x'25 Alliance, a group of agriculture, business, conservation, labor and other groups committed to bioenergy development.

Cornell's bioenergy exhibit will be on display at the National Arboretum during BEAD. To download a PDF of the winning paper, go to

Lauren Chambliss is a communications specialist with the Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station in Ithaca.

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