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2/21/2004 4:52 PM


Rural America Safe Net

Micro-farm co-operative ecosystem and economy


In discussions with Founders we are able to propose a plan with a specific project based on high yield inulin production crop. 





The cultural model is given in the bead on “return to a Jeffersonian Agrarian society”




The cultural model implies that many small units of ownership are to be created and a community covenant established that would not allow ownership to aggregate into macro-size production system owned by one person. 


Clearly it would be difficult to bring hundreds of millions of dollars together to impose a farm ecosystem of the type being discussed.  The alternative is to have some top down subsidies, some local support through tax reinvestments, and a grass roots movement driven by community support. 


A micro-farm co-operative ecosystem and economy might develop if small individually owned farms joined a virtual community.  Thus the provision of the Rural Safe Net resource leads naturally into virtual communities that share informational resources. 


The Rural Safe Net will be one shared community resource.  The Rural Safe Net will provide agricultural extension services from universities, educational services from universities and K-12 educational services.  Health care services and crisis management services will be provided within the virtual community.  No for-profit processes will be supported in principle.  Safe Net will be free from viruses, porn, advertising and spam.  It will be a safe place to build community.  The Safe net will also be part of something larger:


Knowledge Sharing Core


We envision a farming co-operative with strict ownership limits commonly agreed to by the membership.  Urban homeowners associations have similar restrictions.  We envision the scale as being approximately 10 single owner farms operating within Scott County (as a template) growing to perhaps 100 farms in each of 33 counties. 


Each farm would have between 30 – 200 acres of cultivated land available to grow high yield tuber hybrids. 


As a target we might anticipate the cultivation of 10,000 acres (100 farms) within the region of 33 counties.  Using a yield of 25 tons of tubers per acre, and an effective 2% high-DP-inulin extraction level, then 1000 pounds of inulin can be produced per acre of SunSpuds ™ .  The commercial potential of 10,000 acres would yield 250,000 tons of tubers that can be converted to more than 10 million pounds of high DP inulin (>DP 25) and 6 million gallons of ethanol annually. 


The output of these farms can be channeled into bio- medicines (at the high end), $25 per gallon specialty alcohol, or $1,60 per gallon ethanol.  The direct economic impact may be in the order of $20 – 100 million per year per county. 


If the average price per gallon were $2, the 100 farms would on average be sharing $120,000.  This is gross production output, however farms can also produce other products in addition to the tuber crop and the output from the distillation process.  In particular, we envision farm residents with advanced degrees who use the Safe Net as a productive collaborative environment with a secure interface to the World Wide Web will own many of these farms.  


The wireless nature of the Safe Net is discussed in other beads.


To produce 6,000,000 gallons annually we need 230 EcoGenics ethanol distilleries, each producing 500 gallons per week.  One can imagine that co-operative resources might support a system of distilleries with one distillery per farm, each capable of producing 1,000 – 1,500 gallons per week.  The cost of building 100 distilleries is to be estimated.  So there is some arithmetic that needs to be done.




The target area is whole of 33 rural counties that are part of the Southern Indiana Rural Development Project.  The objective is to consider the introduction of a sustainable and resilient high yield inulin tuber crop.  However, no endorsement of the Safe Net concept or the concept to be developed is assumed.  This is something that the SIRDP may choose to meet about. 


The AIC process development model is being used to allow organic development of citizen centric governance and the Rural Safe Net.  Professor Smith has proposed a specific schedule. 




Such a process, as is being proposed, requires slow and deliberative steps where both the capability and the correctness of our approach is opened to the judgments of those whose lives would be effected by the process.


In the PowerPoint we propose four stages – all of which are focused on the development of the Indiana Rural Safe Net.  As this process moves forward, we are finding support, economic and cultural, that will establish three test farms in Scott county to be a core base from which to develop the 100 farm micro-farm co-operative ecosystem and economy. 



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