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CLC Staples to host 2nd Ag and Energy Expo

The Staples campus of Central Lakes College will host the second Ag & Energy Expo Friday, Feb. 24, a free event featuring key note speakers, one of which will be Michael Reese, the renewable energy director at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center at Morris.

Reese has participated as project manager or coordinator on several renewable energy research and demonstration projects including large scale wind energy, biomass gasification, renewable hydrogen, and other renewable energy systems. Reese has been an invited speaker for several regional, state and national conferences on the topic of renewable energy. In addition to renewable energy, he continues to maintain a strong focus in agriculture, rural economic and business development, and community vitality.

The day-long event that includes breakfast and lunch is co-sponsored by CLC and Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank of Wadena, Staples and Long Prairie.

Julia Palmer, public relations and event coordinator at Mid-Central, said exhibitors registered for this annual event include several companies emphasizing conservation and natural resource stewardship with wind energy and solar power technological advancements and considerations for both home and commercial utilization, soil and water, and Energy Project Funding, and economic developments.

"We have many exhibitors registering from many regions who will promote a variety of products and solutions," Palmer said in a news release, "from wind towers and turbines, solar heat, and energy efficiency equipment, to grain drying crop demonstrations, home energy and gasification boilers and bio equipment."

Break-out sessions and a webinar will be taking place later in the day provide a large array of opportunities and will address many topics ranging from energy crop opportunities and developments, Silent Power Projects, Energy Project Funding, Wind Energy Considerations at the CLC Agriculture and Energy Center near Staples. College representatives, and instructors who will be participating include Robert Schafer, Del Lecy, Bob Rick, Keith Olander and Nathan Converse.

"We had a phenomenal response and attendence, for our first expo in 2011. Last year was a huge success, obviously we embraced a topic that is very pertinent to the well being of our local communities with future thoughts on energy conservation and natural resource, and financial opportunities." Palmer said.

Palmer stressed one need not be a member of the bank or affiliated with the college to attend or be an exhibitor. For more information or for registration details, contact Palmer at (218) 639-7615 or (218) 640-0193 or Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank staff at (877) 631-1414 or Cindy Hase of CLC at (218) 894-5100. There is no cost to attend the Expo. The event will take place at the Central Lakes College Staples Campus on the South Wing (Business and Industry Center).