Action Alert

Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!

The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.

TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.

Please take five minutes and complete the survey. To find out more about these trade agreements, go to

Indirect Land Use Change Conference

Wed., September 14, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

North Star Ballroom
2017 Buford Ave
St. Paul, Minnesota

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, in collaboration with the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, hosted a conference on indirect land use change on September 14, 2011, at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota. This one-day conference brought together the nation’s leading thinkers on the issues on land use and biofuel sustainability to talk about where the debate on ILUC stands, and where we must go to ensure the sustainability of the next generation of biofuels.
Because the debate is at a relative lull, this conference aimed to be reflective, innovative, and forward-thinking. Participants were asked to take off their expert hats and think broadly and across disciplines and perspectives. The conversation included critical reflection on the work we’ve done and lessons learned to inform the debate as it goes forward.
Included below is a list of participants and links to presentation slides for those who had them.
INTRODUCTION: The State of Global Agriculture
·        John Sheehan, U of MN, also presenting material from Jon Foley, U of MN>
PANEL: The State of the Analysis
·        Jason Hill, U of MN: Presentation The State of Analysis
·        Steffen Mueller, UIC: Presentation The State of Analysis: UIC Land Use Research Efforts
·        Michael Wang, Argonne National Laboratory
PANEL: The State of Regulation
·        Anil Baral, International Council on Clean Transportation: Presentation Status of ILUC in Biofuel Policy in Europe
·        Jeremy Martin, UCS
PANEL: Stakeholders’ Perspectives
·        Jeremy Martin, UCS
·        Nathanael Greene, NRDC
·        Joe Ludowese, Heartland Corn Products
·        Geoff Cooper, RFA
PANEL: Going Beyond ILUC
·        John Sheehan, U of MN: Presentation Tail Wagging the Dog
·        Steve Flick, Show Me Bioenergy: Presentation Show Me Energy Cooperative: Developing Energy Today for America's Tomorrow
·        Bill Lee, Frontline Bioenerg: Presentation Beyond ILUC: Towards a Sustainable Biofuels Industr
·        Mark Lindquist, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ILUC On the Ground

IATP, Farmers, and Environmental Advocates travel to Brazil

In March 2011 IATP traveled with a group of Minnesota farmers and ethanol producers, researchers, and environmental advocates to the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, to examine the effects of U.S. biofuel production on Brazilian land use, and to learn more about Brazilian agriculture. You can listen to short audio interviews from each of the participants about the trip and about their perspectives on ILUC.