Postponed: Advancing Wisconsin’s Rural Bioeconomy


All non-essential campus events at UW–Madison are cancelled beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13 through at least April 10. For the health and safety of our speakers and to comply with campus policy, we will be postponing our event, "Advancing Wisconsin’s Rural Bioeconomy." We have not yet determined when the event will be held, so check back for more information.

April 21, 2020, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Gordon Commons-Concerto Room (241B)
821 W Johnson St., Madison, WI 53706

Wisconsin’s agricultural expertise and abundant natural resources offer fertile ground for building an enhanced bioeconomy that is sustainable, resilient, and — by utilizing waste streams as feedstocks for new products — circular.

This emerging economic model based on utilization of renewable organic material has the potential to accelerate rural economic development in many ways. New technologies could transform local, renewable waste materials and non-food crops into new revenue streams for farmers and producers. Existing industries could access new markets with novel bio-based or biodegradable materials, growing their economic impact and job base. And converting organic materials into valuable products would keep excess nutrients off the landscape and out of our waterways, improving water quality and aquatic ecosystems.

Join us to learn and discuss how a circular bioeconomy can make Wisconsin and other rural communities more resilient, sustainable, and prosperous. Register here.


9:00 am – Welcome & Introduction to the Bioeconomy

  • Dr. Tim Donohue

9:25 am – Wisconsin's changing rural economic landscape

  • Dr. Paul Mitchell

9:45 am – Adding value to biomass and residues

  • Lignin to acetaminophen – Dr. John Ralph
  • Lignin to PDC, a bio-based plastic – Dr. Dan Noguera
  • Products from dairy waste – Dr. Dan Noguera
  • Products from conversion residues – Dr. Michael Thomas
  • Pyran – Dr. Kevin Barnett

10:15 am – Break

10:35 am – Rural economic development through distributed production of fuels, chemicals, materials, and other products

  • Dr. Christos Maravelias

10:50 am – Systems approach to the bioeconomy supply chain and organic waste management

  • Dr. Victor Zavala

11:20 am – Panel: Perspectives on the bioeconomy, rural economic development, and the potential impact for Wisconsin.

  • Moderator:
    • Dr. Tim Donohue
  • Panelists:
    • Adam Brock, Dairy Farmers of America
    • Steve Dvorak, DVO, Inc.
    • Dr. Stephen Deller, UW-Madison
    • Frank Frassetto, State Director of USDA Rural Development in Wisconsin

12:00 pm – Concluding remarks and adjourn

More Information

Speakers & Sessions (Coming soon)


Gordon Commons - Concerto Room (241B)
821 W Johnson St
Madison, WI 53706