CABER Media/Press Releases

Illinois Biomass Working Group Hosts Webinar on USDA's Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP)

Illinois Biomass Working Group
1/7/2011  8:00 am

For Immediate Release                                                                                More Information

January 7, 2011                                                                                           Fred Iutzi, 309-298-1453


Illinois Biomass Working Group Hosts Webinar for USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP)



The USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), an incentive program for biomass feedstock production, will provide financial assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and non-industrial private forest land who wish to establish, produce, and deliver biomass feedstocks. The application period for this program is now open and a free webinar for producers and other interested parties is scheduled for multiple sites throughout the state from 1:30 – 3:30 pm on January 20, 2011. 


The webinar, organized by the Illinois Biomass Working Group (IWBG), the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University, and University of Illinois Extension, will feature Don King, Chief Program Specialist for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Illinois, and Tim Slating from the University of Illinois’ Energy Biosciences Institute. King and Slating will discuss the program and the application process. An overall strategy for organizing applications to target the critical Project Areas of BCAP will also be discussed.


As a follow up to the webinar, people interested in being part of a BCAP Project Area application will be invited to follow-up meetings held in the vicinity of current or potential biomass buyers. At those meetings Illinois Biomass Working Group members will facilitate conversations in which potential biomass buyers and sellers can explore forming a BCAP Project Area group. These meetings will begin taking place in various parts of the state in early February, with specific details announced by January 20.


“BCAP may represent a major opportunity for Illinois farmers and rural businesses,” according to Fred Iutzi, IIRA Sustainable Development program manager and IBWG facilitator. “We want to give farmers and other potential applicants the information they need to decide whether the program is a good fit for them.”


“Building biomass supply chains in Illinois will require multiple financial and project development tools,” added Ted Funk, Assistant Director of the Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research (CABER) at the University of Illinois. “For some producers, BCAP will be part of that toolbox.”


The Illinois Biomass Working Group is comprised of farmers, businesses, universities, and public agencies who meet to share information and collaborate to advance biomass energy in Illinois. The group helps link farmers and businesses of many types together to form complete biomass supply chains, and to promote collaborative efforts between the private sector and public researchers and regulators.


Interested parties may participate in the webinar in the following locations: Quincy (University of Illinois Extension, Adams County Office, 330 S. 36th St.; Decatur, University of Illinois Extension, Macon County Office, 3351 N. President Howard Brown Blvd.; Elizabeth, Jo-Carroll Energy, 793 US Rte 20 West; Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, Room 1895, 1720 South 7th Street,; Jacksonville, University of Illinois Extension,  Morgan County Office, 104 N. Westgate Ave.; Carbondale, SIU Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Rd.; and Pontiac, Livingston County Farm Bureau, 901 W. Howard St.


Register online for the webinar at For more information, contact Fred Iutzi ( or Erin Orwig ( at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at (800) 526-9943 or Natalie Bosecker (, Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research at the University of Illinois at (217) 244-9273.