It was a hot August evening at the offices of Renew Biomass. Normally, the staff would’ve already headed home for the evening, but tonight was different. The privacy gate was opened. Tables, chairs and refreshments were set out for an expected crowd. The stage was set in the largest barn on the property, big enough to house over 30,000 bales. The clock ticked closer to 6:30 PM, and the event was ready to begin. It was the night of Renew Biomass’ Twilight Horticultural Tour, hosted by the University of Missouri Extension Council of Lawrence County.
The night began with an introduction by COO, Dustin Dover. Dustin began by introducing the team, as well as thanking the attendees for coming. He gave an overview of the company, where it is, and where it’s headed. He then turned the microphone over to Director of Agriculture Eric Allphin. Eric went in depth about the properties of the crop. He answered questions on a variety of topics, including ideal farming conditions, estimated planting dates and returns that farmers could expect. He touched on the fact that we are in a drought year and explained how that has affected Miscanthus versus other local crops such as corn and soy beans. After Eric addressed questions, he handed the mic over to President and CEO Cal Boender. Cal thanked everyone for coming and touched on his vision for the future of Renew Biomass. Cal envisions considerable growth, both domestically as well as internationally. He recapped the health benefits of Miscanthus and potential uses in the future including possible entrance in to the human grade market.
The tour wrapped up just down the road from the office at the Miscanthus field of local farmer Rusty Mulford. Rusty’s field was impressive. Nearly 85 acres of Miscanthus measuring just shy of 10 feet tall. Rusty explained that the crop can grow to be as tall as 13 feet, however due to the drought, this harvest should be just over 10 feet. Rusty fielded questions from patrons including maintenance of the field, pest control and returns to be expected. After all the questions were answered, patrons were encouraged to take pictures and get up close to the field itself.
In the end, the event was both educational and informative. Those who attended left Rusty’s field a little more knowledgeable on the uses and the future of Miscanthus.
MFiber is a subsidiary of Renew Biomass. MFiber focuses on all aspects of Miscanthus production. The final product is utilized by the pet food industry and is an ingredient of most commercially available pet foods on the market today!
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