News Release
Release No.STELPRD4015512
ContactCandice Celestin(315) 399-8393
Syracuse, NY, Mar 27, 2012 --

@@Today USDA Rural Development hosted a press event to kick off the Got Manure? Enhancing Environmental and Economic Sustainability Conference. Recognizing NY’s growing importance in the anaerobic digestion (AD) field, the four co-hosts; AgSTAR, Cornell’s PRO-DAIRY program, NYSERDA, and USDA’s NY NRCS office; have joined together to bring a national conference to Syracuse for the very first time. The March 27th-29th conference will highlight successful local projects, explore anaerobic digestion’s role in integrated manure management systems by taking a whole-farm approach, and explore current issues and opportunities in the AD sector.

Representatives from federal agencies and state and local government officials welcomed visitors from across the globe to this cutting edge showcase. The press event took place at the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District Community Digester in Auburn and was followed by a tour of the digester.

“In 2005, USDA Rural Development provided a $500,000 grant to the Cayuga County Public Utility Service Agency for the digester. It was a cooperative effort by the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Cayuga County government. The equipment is designed to process manure from 1500 dairy cows and produce electricity and heat to supply county facilities adjacent to the digester site, ” said Bryan Clerkin, Administrative Program Director for the NY USDA Rural Development office.

Speakers included; Todd Campbell, USDA Rural Development Alternative Energy Policy Advisor, Angelo Roefaro, Regional Representative for Senator Charles Schumer, Colleen Deacon, Regional Representative for Senator Kristen Gillibrand, Timothy Lattimore, Deputy Chairman of Auburn District #13, Allison Costa, Program Manager, Environmental Protection Agency, Dana Levy, Program Manager, NYSERDA, Carrie Mosley, Acting State Conservationist for NRCS New York, Lee Telega, Cornell University’s PRO-DAIRY Program , Kay Hilsberg, Onondaga County Agriculture Council Chairman, Ronald Podolak, Cayuga County Soil & Water Conservation District Executive Director.

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. For more information on USDA Rural Development programs, contact Rural Development’s state office at (315) 477-6400, or visit the Rural Development web site at