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SOYBEAN OIL AND SOYBEANS inewsistock\getty images
PRODUCT SUCCESS: Manufacturing flexible foam with a soybean oil base has been one of the success stories of the Kansas Polymer Research Center, which will be a partner in the first-time FARMS workshop set for Pittsburg on Feb. 26-28.

New workshop aims to bring farmers, scientists together

The inaugural FARMS workshop will explore ways to add value to ag waste and byproducts.

FARMS (Farmers Accelerating Research in Materials Science), a first-time workshop to be held in Pittsburg on Feb. 26-28, is aimed at bringing farmers, ranchers and scientists together so they can be of help to each other and their industries. 

Tim Conner, division director for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will be the keynote speaker for the workshop — a joint venture by Pittsburg State University’s Kansas Polymer Research Center and Virginia Tech’s Macromolecules Innovation Institute.  

It will be held at Block22 in downtown Pittsburg, and registration is being accepted now.

Organizer Tim Dawsey, executive director for the advancement of applied science and technology at KPRC, says scientists want to know what agricultural byproducts and agricultural waste the farmers and ranchers generate that could, through research and innovation, be of value. 

For example, they’ve discovered ways to create batteries from coffee grounds, rigid foams from chicken fat and flexible foam from soybean oil — a technology now used by Ford Motor Co., among others.

“What we’re looking for is to uncover more opportunities like that,” Dawsey says.

Scientists also want to help farmers and ranchers solve challenges through innovation.

“We want to know what they deal with from the time they lace their boots in the morning to the time they turn their tractors off,” Dawsey says.

The workshop agenda will include an evening reception and keynote address, a full day of workshops with breakout sessions facilitated by county extension agents, and a day of proposal writing and planning for scientists. 

The event is sponsored by Girard National Bank and Kansas Farm Bureau.

For more details about the event, call 620-235-4112.

Located on the campus of Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan., KPRC is unique: It combines internationally recognized scientists from industry with academic laboratory resources and the processing expertise of PSU’s College of Technology in a state-of-the-art research facility. 

KPRC specializes in vegetable oil-based polymer research and development with a strong core competence in polyurethanes and electroactive materials. KPRC scientists work with industrial partners, state and federal agencies, and producer associations on developing and commercializing PSU’s intellectual property.

Source: Pittsburg State University, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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