Iowa-based Partners & Team Members

The current Iowa-based partners and team members for the Chariton Valley Biomass Project include:

Chariton Valley RC&D, Inc.

Chariton Valley Resource Conservation and Development is a United States Department of Agriculture sponsored, non-profit organization serving Lucas, Wayne, Appanoose, and Monroe Counties in South Central, Iowa. The RC&D provides assistance to local communities, counties, and organizations to carry out local objectives related to economic development, community facilities, and natural resource conservation. Chariton Valley RC&D Inc. is the prime contractor and grant-holder for the cost-shared research and demonstration phase of the Chariton Valley Biomass Project and manages all aspects of the project.

Alliant Energy

Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT) is an energy holding company with regulated utility providers as well as non-regulated companies involved in delivering energy-related products and services. Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Alliant Energy is a major energy producer in the state and has agreed to co-fire switchgrass at its Ottumwa Generating Station (OGS) during the demonstration phase of the project. If economic conditions are attractive after the cost-shared demonstration project is completed, Alliant Energy will enter into a fuel supply contract with Prairie Lands Biomass LLC to purchase switchgrass for up to 5% of the total fuel input at OGS on a continuing basis.

Prairie Lands Biomass, LLC

Prairie Lands Biomass, LLC is a switchgrass producers organization that works with other partners to conduct project research, develop management and harvest techniques, and ensure a supply of switchgrass for energy generation.

Kelderman Manufacturing, Inc.

Kelderman Manufacturing, Inc. was founded by Gary Kelderman in 1970 and is based in Oskaloosa, IA. They are known throughout the agricultural industry as one of the leading inventors of hay equipment, planter fold kits and rubber track systems for tractors and combines. Gary holds over 25 patents and is also a board member of Prairie Lands Biomass LLC. Kelderman Manufacturing has been instrumental in installing, optimizing, and operating the switchgrass processing equipment during the project’s test burns. They are also developing and testing custom harvesting and baling machinery to improve efficiency and performance of those operations.

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

The goals of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) are:

  1. Build a department of agriculture that can respond quickly and efficiently to changing global conditions in agriculture;
  2. Increase Iowa’s agricultural market share - both domestic and foreign, and assist in the removal of unnecessary barriers to agricultural trade;
  3. Develop and encourage agricultural education and new avenues for Iowa producers to market their products, increasing the independent farmers impact on the market;
  4. Add value in Iowa to agriculture by developing new products, and create a link for Iowa farmers with consumer-ready markets;
  5. Preserve Iowa’s precious soil, and improve water quality to ensure opportunities for future generations of Iowans; and
  6. Protect consumers and producers by assuring the quality of Iowa agricultural products and animal health.
These goals are closely linked with those of the Chariton Valley Biomass Project, and IDALS has provided assistance to the project from its inception.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Soil and Water Conservation Districts

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works through county soil and water conservation districts to protect and improve natural resources across the state. NRCS staff provides technical assistance to the state's landowners, farmers, communities, groups and other agencies to help them protect and conserve the states natural resources including soil, water and wildlife habitat. Iowa NRCS employs many specialists—from soil scientists to wildlife biologists—to ensure the state's landowners have access to reliable and proven technical information. Technical assistance includes natural resource inventories and assessments, and assistance in developing and implementing conservation plans for private lands.

Iowa Energy Center

The Iowa Energy Center invests its resources to create a stable energy future for the state of Iowa by producing dividends that support Iowa communities, businesses and individuals. The Center’s staff has conducted switchgrass gasification research and analysis in support of the Chariton Valley Biomass Project.

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation

The major farm sector advocacy organization, Farm Bureau is active in farm policy issues and in providing individual services to local farms. The Iowa Farm Bureau has been providing a ssistance with public information and serving as a liaison with producers for the Chariton Valley Biomass Project since the project’s inception.

Iowa State University & Iowa State University Extension Service

Iowa State University is among the nation's leading universities in research and technology transfer accomplishments. Researchers and students from Iowa State have been involved and instrumental in nearly all areas of research and analysis for the Chariton Valley Biomass Project. They have led research efforts for the project in the following areas: fertility and yield trials, soil stabilization and soil quality, water quality impacts, carbon sequestration, avian and wildlife impacts, intercropping systems, yield optimization, cool season grass trials, disease and weed control, switchgrass production economics, switchgrass gasification research and analysis, and determining chemical characteristics for switchgrass and cool season grasses in the project region.

John Deere Works

Founded in 1837, John Deere is a worldwide corporation that today does business in more than 160 countries and employs approximately 46,000 people worldwide. It is one of the oldest industrial companies in the United States. Located in Ottumwa, Iowa, the worldwide forage research unit for John Deere, Inc. is providing support in the area of harvest and handling technology research and development. John Deere Ottumwa Works develops balers, mower conditioners, windrowers, mowers and rakes.

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

The Leopold Center is a research and education center with statewide programs to develop sustainable agricultural practices that are both profitable and conserve natural resources. The Center and its staff have worked with the Chariton Valley Biomass Project to estimate the costs of switchgrass production under various scenarios, assess farm-related environmental benefits of the project, and assess policy issues.

University of Iowa, Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research

The University of Iowa’s Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research promotes interdisciplinary research efforts that focus on the multiple aspects of global and environmental change, including the regional effects of natural ecosystems, environments and resources as well as on human health, culture, and social sciences. The Center’s staff has provided valuable analysis for the Chariton Valley Biomass Project regarding life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and valuation of societal benefits from the project.

Vermeer Manufacturing Company

Based in Pella, Iowa, Vermeer has been successfully manufacturing quality farm, construction, and industrial equipment for more than 55 years. Vermeer is a multi-million dollar company operating with roughly 1.5 million square feet of plant space while manufacturing and marketing roughly 100 different agricultural and industrial products worldwide. Vermeer manufactures a full line of haying equipment including large round balers, mowers, mower/conditioners, rakes, tedders, bale processors, silage wrappers, bale splitters, bale movers and hay handling equipment; plus a wide assortment of industrial equipment for tree, construction, environmental and underground utility service work. Vermeer has supplied some of the equipment used by the Chariton Valley Biomass Project’s farmers for their harvest activities.