The wheels of biofuels legislation are rumbling through state legislatures across the country. And at the national level, a broad coalition of ag groups, renewable fuel producers and environmental organizations are urging the Senate to enact a renewable fuels standard (RFS) in the current energy legislation (S. 517).

The RFS would require a small percentage of the nation's fuel supply to contain renewable fuels such as ethanol or biodiesel.

Under pending legislation, the requirement would increase biofuels usage from 2 billion gallons in 2003 to 5 billion gallons by 2012.

In addition, a proposed tax incentive provision would provide a 1ยข reduction in the excise tax at the pump for every 1% of biodiesel blended into standard diesel fuel, up to 20% of its total content.

Throughout the country, there appears to be a groundswell of support for renewable fuels. In fact, since the terrorist attacks last fall, the general public seems more eager to limit our dependence on foreign oil.

So, please check where your state stands on renewable fuels legislation and fire letters off to your legislators. While you're at it, send support to your congressmen on Capitol Hill.

If you need more details on this issue, please contact the American Soybean Association or the National Corn Growers Association.

Let's hope for continued progress on using your corn and soybeans right here at home in the form of ethanol and biodiesel.

2003 Stewardship Awards

Now's the time to get your conservation house in order for the 2003 Conservation Legacy Award program. Sponsored by the American Soybean Association (ASA), Monsanto and Soybean Digest, the program honors producers who distinguish themselves in the management of their environmental resources. The program had its inaugural kick-off this year and is ready to accept applications for the 2003 awards.

Four regional winners will be chosen and each winner, plus a spouse/guest, receives a trip to the Commodity Classic in Charlotte, NC, in February 2003. At that time, a national winner will be announced.

Application forms are available from ASA. Call 800-688-7692 or e-mail Legacy@soy.org.

It's a worthwhile program and will honor you for the efforts you already have in practice. Good luck and get those applications in.