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Growing the Wood-to-Energy Sector

A wood-energy checkoff would raise money for promotion, public education, new market exploration and research. All would contribute a small amount, to be administered by an industry-elected board, independent of trade associations.
By: Jennifer Hedrick
Biomass Magazine

What’s your mad cow?

That was the question asked by Carlton Owen at a series of meetings and conferences within the wood-to-energy sector over the past few months. You no doubt remember mad cow disease. It was rampant in the United Kingdom in the 1990s—killing cows and people, shattering consumer confidence throughout the U.K., and halting beef exports. The first case was discovered in the United States in 2003, which could have been a harbinger of the end of the U.S. beef industry.

Except that didn’t happen.

The beef industry very strategically utilized an existing program established more than 20 years earlier—the beef checkoff program—to research the U.S. beef supply and inform Americans that it was safe. As a result, beef consumption actually increased.

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