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Serving: West

Johnson Lays Out Plan

Ag commissioner would pass energy mandates, promote organic farming and support local locker plants.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson laid out his "Plan for North Dakota's Agricultural Future" at a recent press conference in Bismarck, N.D.

Johnson is seeking re-election to the post and is being opposed by Republican Doug Goehring.

Johnson says he would strengthen five areas – renewable energy, livestock development, farmer markets, organic farming and the Pride of the Dakota program.

He would pass laws mandating that gasoline contain 10% ethanol by xxxx and 20% ethanol xxxx by. He would require that diesel fuel contain x% biodiesel by xxxx and xx% by 2012. He would mandate that 10% of electricity in the state be generated from "green" sources, such as wind. He also would spend $5 million research how to produce fuel from switchgrass and other biomass crops.

In addition, Johnson would license more lockers to process meat, increase training to help more conventional farmers convert to organic production, spend more money promoting farmers markets and recruit more companies to join the Pride of North Dakota program.

A copy of the plan can be found at Johnson's campaign Web site, www.JohnsonForAg.com.

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