The University of Missouri has been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant that funds three National Needs Fellowships for training of master's and doctoral students in bioenergy economics.

Such fellowships are intended to train students in areas where there is a national need for greater scientific and professional expertise, said Wyatt Thompson, assistant professor of agricultural economics.

The study program will address such issues as future bioenergy technologies and how biofuels might affect global food and fuel markets, he said.

"Bioenergy will transform the U.S. and global economy in years to come. Such changes will challenge both industry and public policy. Fellows will learn to analyze fundamental issues that complicate the realization of renewable energy," he said.

Training includes work with faculty as well as with industry and public service leaders to develop skills and knowledge in areas such as bioeconomics, linkages to traditional energy markets, bioenergy production and long-term economic and environmental sustainability.

Fellows will study with researchers at the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and the Economics and Management of Agrobiotechnology Center (EMAC).

The NNF grant funds three years of study with a yearly stipend of $24,000. A fourth year of study, tuition and medical insurance will be provided through MU funding.

For more information, contact Thompson at thompsonw@missouri.edu.