Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
Agricultural News and Information
Greg Gibson, Coordinator
Public Relations / Multimedia
1-800-227-8244 ext. 4154
25x’25: Mississippi leader helps build a renewable energy future
All it takes is one stop at the fuel pump to realize that Americans are
confronting one of their biggest challenges in decades. Soaring energy
prices are impacting all sectors of our economy, whether you are a farmer
trying to fuel up for field work, a trucker hauling goods across the country
or an office worker who commutes to work every day.
That’s why leaders like Mississippi Farm Bureau President David
Waide are joining forces with others across the country to endorse a bold
new initiative: 25x’25. The goal: America ’s farms, ranches
and forests will provide 25 percent of America ’s energy needs from
renewable sources by 2025. A bi-partisan group of Senators and Representatives
in Washington , D.C. recently introduced 25x’25 as a national goal
for the country and more and more people are endorsing this vision every
"We believe the time has come for concerned citizens to work collectively
and bring this vision to life," explains Waide. "We are convinced
that America ’s farms, ranches and forests can become suppliers
for a new generation of fuels and energy feedstocks. At the same time,
we’ll contribute to a cleaner environment and enhance rural economic
Diverse sources available
Although widespread public awareness of the 25x’25 initiative is
relatively recent, it’s been gaining momentum over the last two
years. In the fall of 2004, a group of agricultural leaders joined forces
to discuss how they could proactively address the growing challenges associated
with energy prices. "We anticipated that this was going to continue
to be a huge issue," says 25x’25 co-chair J. Read Smith. "But
at that time, none of us would have predicted the hurricanes in 2005,
the supply disruptions, and some of the dramatic price swings and economic
impacts we are seeing now."
After extensive dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders and energy
advocates this steering committee became convinced that agriculture and
forestry can play a key role in helping the nation move toward energy
independence. "We looked at the energy potential from a wide range
of sources: wind, solar, methane, ethanol, biodiesel," adds Bill
Richards, who also serves as co-chair.
New technologies emerging
"The technologies that could turn this vision to reality are rapidly
emerging and providing new, more efficient solutions," adds Waide.
"In the past decade, there have been great strides in biofuel technology
and manufacturing facilities, substantially improving the efficiency of
this fuel source. Mississippi will be the site of great advances in the
development of fuel and energy alternatives."
"Imagine the impact that could be made if every farm, ranch and
forestry operation in our vast nation were contributing energy in one
form or another," suggests Waide. "And imagine the economic
impact that could result. Landowners who produce crops, livestock or forestry
products, would have a second crop to sell – energy. Jobs would
be created in rural America through the processing of agricultural products
and the maintenance of equipment for producing electric power. These increased
domestic energy supplies would help reduce the price Americans pay to
drive their cars and cool their homes."
The 25x’25 Work Group has dramatically expanded in scope and size
since its inception and momentum continues to build for making this a
national goal and creating alliances in at least 20 states. As we went
to press, the goal has been by the governors of Florida, Idaho, Indiana,
Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New York,
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin; state legislatures in Colorado, Nebraska,
and Vermont; and over 200 organizations and businesses from around the
"We hope other individuals and organizations will join us in crafting
this new energy paradigm," adds Waide. "Strong partnerships
will drive the 25x’25 vision, and the work has just begun on that
To learn more about 25x’25, go to www.25x25.org or contact Waide
at (601) 977-4290.
Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest general farm
organization with more than 230,000 member-families statewide. There
are Farm Bureaus in all 82 counties in Mississippi
where agriculture comprises a fundamental part of
Mississippi 's economy.
Headquartered in Jackson
, the federation is an independent, non-profit agricultural
organization and is not associated with any arm of the government.
For more information about Farm Bureau, visit our website at www.msfb.com.