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Farm-to-Fly

Objective

The FARM to Fly initiative’s purpose is to “accelerate the availability of a commercially viable and sustainable aviation biofuel industry in the United States, increase domestic energy security, establish regional supply chains, and support rural development”.

 

Category
Deployment

Value-chain step
All

Type of pathway
All

Starting time and duration
2010 -

Stakeholders
Government, Airlines, Manufacturers

Regional scope
National

Involved countries
U.S.A.

Status
On-going
Description

The FARM to Fly initiative was launched in July 2010 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Airlines for America (A4A, formerly the Air Transport Association of America) and the Boeing Company.
 

The partners created the FARM to Fly Working Team with the mission to consider and pursue actions that:
  • Can be taken within the existing statutory authority of USDA to promote the commercial-scale production of sustainable feedstock and the development of aviation biofuel production and distribution facilities; and
  • May require rulemaking, statutory changes or funding that could be recommended for upcoming budget or reauthorization consideration.

In addition, USDA committed to work on feedstock for biojet fuel through its bioenergy and biomass programs, and the three partners agreed to use regional opportunities and pilot programs (in particular the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest – SAFN – and the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative - MASBI) to assess and evaluate means for meeting their mutual goals.


In April 2013, the Farm-to-Fly partnership was extended by 5 years.  Now labelled Farm-to-Fly 2.0, the partners hope to be able to annually produce 1 billion gallons of drop-in aviation fuel by 2018.  The initiative also aims to support the economies of rural America by creating jobs and developing the bioeconomy, while simultaneously securing the future of energy production within the U.S. 

 

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has also joined the Farm-to-Fly 2.0 partnership.  The DOE will assist in the technical areas of this initiative, supporting the production, certification, testing, and qualification of these fuels. 

Partners

 

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Airlines for America (A4A), Boeing Company, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

 

Achievements to date

  • In January 2012, the initiative published the report “Agriculture and Aviation: Partners in Prosperity with the findings and recommendations of the FARM to FLY Working Team (link).
The report concludes that Federal Government leadership and assistance are needed to create a bridge to an aviation biofuels industry that can be sustained exclusively by private capital. The focused commitment of limited government resources in the near term to support investment in biofuels innovation can help secure a future in which domestic businesses are the primary funders of a large share of commercial-aviation renewable fuel production.
The report provides a complete overview of the initiative supported by USDA which contributes to the development and deployment of aviation biofuels.
The report was accompanied by industry recommendations to government and other stakeholders. Industry underlined that support is needed to achieve proof of commercialization of aviation biofuel, i.e. to validate the business model for all elements of the supply chain. Having at least two successful commercial-scale projects in appropriate parts of the country was seen as a necessary precursor to private investment and scalable production on a broader national scale.

  • Through the "Farm to Fly 2.0" (F2F2) Public-Private-Partnership efforts, CAAFI continues to foster supply chain development activities in Connecticut, Vermont, Florida, Maryland/Delaware, New Jersey, Maine, and South Carolina. Several of these initiatives have recently submitted proposals, including:
    • ​​​​Vermont—Proposal to secure USDA Rural Development funding through the new Rural Development Enterprise Grant  to quantify reduced runoff potential of granular fertilizer in lieu of cow manure was formerly submitted prior to the April 30th requested deadline. The proposal is being supported by VT NRCS.
    • Maryland / Delaware—An RBDG proposal was submitted to Rural Development in Dover on April 28th to build a supply chain and examine its feasibility from collection of underutilized poultry waste streams and sludge from farms and rendering facilities.
    • Florida – An RBDG proposal aligned with the goals of the Fallow Fields Working Group was submitted to Florida Rural Development.  Awards are expected to be announced as early as June.
 
Contact information

Farm-to-Fly report: Link