U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack noted the importance of developing a deeper understanding of agriculture's role in the future of energy, innovation and economic growth during his talk on September 4, 2014 at Arizona State University. Secretary Vilsack expressed the need to reduce U.S. reliance on fossil fuels and further research and development of biofuels and other renewable energies. The lecture was a part of the Sustainability Series at ASU's Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability .
Arizona State University has long taken action in shaping Arizona’s energy future. In the next iteration of this endeavor, Gary Dirks, director of LightWorks, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3) at Arizona State University, has been named a member of the Governor’s State Energy Advisory Board.