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Voice: Imperial Bioresources lauds press, others

November 09, 2001

We would like to thank the Imperial Valley Press for its extensive coverage and editorial regarding our effort to establish sugar cane as a viable crop in the Imperial Valley. After years of research dealing with variety selection, cultural techniques, economic and engineering studies, etc. we appreciate the help on educating the public on what we are all about.

We would also like to acknowledge the ongoing work being done by Dr. Paul Sebesta and the University of California as well as the continued support by Holly Sugar. There are many others, too numerous to mention, who have helped as well. For a complete list of those who have helped out see our Website at imperialbioresources.com.

Staff Writer Laura Mitchell has done a great job in articulating the complex nature of our project. For anyone who read all three articles, it should be apparent that many people are involved in helping to make this project become a reality.

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There are a few points we would like to make that were really not within the scope of the articles and editorials. These points are nonetheless necessary for a better understanding of how we are evolving.

First, we are involved Valleywide. Three of our five new propagation plots are in the south end being grown by Ben Abatti Sr., Jim Abatti and Curt Corda. In the north end Paul Cameron, Don Emanuelli, and Spruce Farms are growing new plots while Craig Elmore and Carson Kalin continue their variety trials, which are starting their third year.

Secondly, even though sugar beet growers, along with the University of California and Holly Sugar, started and have supported the research effort to date, the opportunity to grow cane will be available to those who are willing to get involved early and share the risks inherent in starting a new enterprise. Our projections are for 20,000 to 30,000 acres of sugar cane initially and we estimate that only half or even less will be grown by current beet growers.

We have some significant hurdles to jump before we can really say we can make this project work, including dealing with the federal farm bill and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy, honing our economic and engineering analysis, dealing with state agencies including the California Energy Commission, the Department of Food and Agriculture and others, etc. What we want to make abundantly clear is that we are a Valleywide effort open to any grower or investor who wants to step up to the plate and take a swing at the future.

We thank everyone who has supported us. Keep in mind that our primary goal is to keep our local beet refinery open and preserve the jobs associated with growing and refining 25,000 acres of beets.

LARRY FLEMING

CRAIG ELMORE

CARSON KALIN

Imperial Bioresources, LLC

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