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MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTORS        

Welcome to the South Central Sun Grant regional website!

Located on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK, we are one of five Sun Grant Centers, all of whom are working together to further establish a biobased economy through our national network of land-grant universities and federally-funded laboratories. Originally authorized under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, the five Sun Grant Centers each use their unique regional resources to meet the common goal of researching biobased alternatives and providing educational programs on America’s energy demands while offering economic opportunities for rural areas.

Since 2006, the South Central Center has awarded over $XX.X million in US Department of Transportation (DOT) and $XX.X million in US Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds to land-grant university-based researchers within our eight-state region consisting of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Prior to the release of the first RFA in 2007, each of the Sun Grant Centers created a list of priority areas suitable to the resources and needs of their region. While the feedstocks vary greatly within the South Central region, projects funded through a competitive grants process all fit within the defined priority areas. To view specifics on our funded projects, see our project overviews.

The South Central region also participates in the US Department of Energy (DOE)-funded Sun Grant Feedstock Partnership, overseen by Dr. Vance Owens, Director of the North Central Sun Grant Center at South Dakota State University. The Feedstock Partnership has been charged by the DOE’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with three tasks: 1) biomass resource assessment, 2) biomass resource development, and 3) biomass resource education and outreach. The Feedstock Partnership has assembled national task teams to complete these OMB tasks.

The 2014 Farm Bill provided the authorization to USDA in establishing the Sun Grant Program (SGP) through a competitive grant process. The existing five Centers formed a consortium to compete for the opportunity of continuing as the SGP.  The consortium was awarded the 5-year, approximately $2.3 million per year program.  Continuing the existing Centers’ practice, 75% of grant funds received will be used to provide competitive grants within each region that are multi-institutional and integrated, multistate research, extension, and education programs on technology development and technology implementation and address bioenergy, biomass, or bioproducts research priorities.  The South Central Center anticipates the next regional RFA will be released fall 2015.

We hope this website provides a more in-depth view of our center and its activities. On behalf of the South Central Sun Grant Center, thank you for visiting our website. If you have any questions, please e-mail the Center at sungrant@okstate.edu.

Sincerely,

Keith Owens, Ph.D.
Interim Director, South Central Sun Grant Center

and

Ray Huhnke, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate Director, South Central Sun Grant Center