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Food for Thought: Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 9, 2010 —How does one turn used corn cobs, fruit peels and other veggie waste into electricity, steam, hot air or hot water? With a biogas plant – where such organic waste is put in anaerobic conditions in large tanks and inoculated with bacteria to produce a methane-rich biogas.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, students and the public are invited to meet Karla Chambers, co-owner and vice president of the first such plant in North America, the 5,000-acre Stahlbush Island Farms ( ) in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. The site is an environmentally friendly farm and food processor committed to sustainable agriculture. Its plant produces enough electricity to power approximately 1,100 homes -- nearly twice what the farm uses in a year – some of which is sold back to the electrical “grid.”

The event will take place at 4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 11th in the Weigand Room of Santa Clara University’s Arts & Sciences Building, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif. 95053.

Chambers will discuss sustainability and innovation in agriculture, including why it's important for businesses to focus on sustainability.  She will also address how consumers can make informed decisions at the grocery store to positively impact the environment. 

The event is co-sponsored by three Santa Clara University entities: the Food and Agribusiness Institute of the Leavey School of Business; the Environmental Studies Institute and the Office of Sustainability.

RSVP is requested  at

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,846 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus masters and law degrees, and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. masters universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | (408) 554-5121 |


Tags: FAI; sustainability

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