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Farming fun from PetersonFarmBros

The Peterson Farm Brothers are at it again, having posted another video on YouTube. The videos are fun to watch, and would be a good thing to share over the holidays with family and friends.
By Susanne Retka Schill | December 20, 2012

The Peterson Farm Brothers are at it again, having posted another video on YouTube, this time a Gangnam style parody titled “Farmer Style.”  It’s topped 10 million hits since being posted on Dec. 4, and earned them spots on CNBC.com and a mention on ABC News (albeit only five-seconds worth, but they still were excited).

That’s 2 million more hits than their first viral hit, “I’m Farming and I Grow It,” which has over 8 million views since being posted in late June.  

The videos are fun to watch, and would be a good thing to share over the holidays with family and friends. These strapping young farmers are full of energy and good cheer, and the parodies are great fun, while celebrating farming and American agriculture. My favorite is the first, but I would say the quality of the sound, video and editing is better in the second.

A quick look at the boys’ Facebook page shows they are having great fun with the whole project. They post links to interviews and blogs, and to their online store where they sell T-shirts, an autographed poster, a bumper sticker and Greg Peterson’s audio CD.

And given Christmas is fundamentally a Christian holiday, I found it heartwarming to learn the Peterson Farm Brothers’ see an underlying mission to their efforts. Greg, the musician who recruited his brothers to help with these videos, was interviewed in a Christian blog linked on their Facebook page, as saying he sees his mission in promoting agriculture as the same as when sharing the Gospel. “I do my best to inform people about something they take for granted or do not fully understand. I try to bring truth where there are misconceptions.”  They aren’t in your face about it, though, on their Facebook page, but a reference to Psalm 115:1 sent me to the search bar to look it up.

The ethanol industry has a few video contests going, so maybe someday one of these will catch viewer’s fancy. The National corn Growers Association posted its “Ethanol Rocks Video Contest” winners online in early November.  and New Holland’s contest for members of the National FFA Organization closed in mid-December.  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association also sponsors a contest for videos. The deadline for this year's IRFA contest is Jan. 18.  It’s always fun to see what these young people come up with.

 

3 Responses

  1. stan

    2012-12-22

    1

    It's time for a New Approach and maybe end the Ethanol and RFS Mandates. With the droughts and population growth we should not use good farm land for fuel. With new oil and gas drilling, the US has plenty of energy. And for the carbon and global warming problem we need to fast track new, safe nuclear energy, Terra Power and maybe Air Fuel Synthesis. When Congress picked corn as the winner in 2007, it did not account for the advances in technology that would occur, enabling the cost-effective production of ethanol on a mass scale from new sources. For example, new methods for making fuel-grade ethanol from hydrocarbons like natural gas, an abundant U.S. resource — and other sources — are now available. The current RFS does not include hydrocarbons on its list of approved ethanol sources, stifling competition and giving the advantage to a small sliver of industries. It should be amended to make room for new ethanol sources in the marketplace. Excluding them from the RFS program inhibits the growth of our domestic energy economy at a time when other countries, like China and Indonesia, are moving ahead rapidly in the alternative fuels race

  2. S16

    2012-12-29

    2

    Stan. No.

  3. Khalid

    2013-01-07

    3

    With a lawyer-lobyist aninoted by this group, and with the unproven indirect land use change theory still on their agenda, that sends up a Big Red Flag. This group is acting like they have all the answers, and they do not. Their so called “consensus” is a positive shift with good intentions, however it is not a complete analysis of all the issues. And as long as this group continues to claim that indirect land use change is based on fact, when it is not, there will be no consensus.Another red flag goes up when people try to analyze biofuels “in general”. Instead, we should talk about individual biofuels, not biofuels in general. Ethanol and biodiesel are way different animals. They are made from different feedstocks using different processes. They have very different fuel characteristics and are used in different engines. They have different emissions and different environmental footprints. They have different economic impacts on the economy and on the food supply.Ethanol engine technology has recently taken a giant leap forward, beyond flexi-fuel, and this will dramatically enhance the environmental impact of the fuel. “Ethanol optimized” engines are now being developed that get better mileage than gasoline, but have all the power and efficiency of diesel engines, at a much lower cost and a much higher power-to-weight ratio. (Ricardo, Lotus, and others) This is made possible by exploiting ethanol’s 25% higher octane and faster flame speed than gasoline, even though it has 30% less btu’s. The old argument, that ethanol is limited by its lower btu content is invalid.Biodiesel, a good alternative fuel, is oil based. In contrast, ethanol can be blended with up to 50% water and still combust. That is significant, because we have technology that can distill a gallon of ethanol with less than 3 kilowatts, blend it half and half with water, and then combust it in a genset that produces 23 kilowatts per gallon, using a conventional small engine. (MicroFueler “grid-buster”) The output could be much higher using an “ethanol optimized” engine, a gas turbine, or a fuel cell. These new ethanol technologies are viable for charging batteries onboard the coming plug-in hybrids, and what you get is a vehicle design with the potential to eliminate imported oil entirely.Onsite ethanol-water vaporized or reformed into hydrogen could also replace natural gas used for CHP production power at ethanol refineries, disposing of waste water. That would significantly impact the environmental footprint of corn ethanol, by replacing newly mined CO2 in the natural gas with recycled CO2 embodied in the ethanol. Surplus electric power could also be fed into the grid.There are also plans to grow Algae on the corn ethanol refinery waste stream. Again, this would greatly improve the environmental footprint, while mitigating waste heat and nutrient-rich waste water effluent called “centrate”. Waste CO2 will be recycled through the algae, instead of releasing directly it into the atmosphere. This will likely be very concentrated heterotrophic algae grown in dark, insulated tanks, on a very small footprint of adjacent land. The sugars and nutrients in the waste water centrate will feed the algae, enhanced by CO2 feeding, and what we’ll get is algae biomass doubling every 6 hours under optimal conditions. Strains of heterotrophic chlorella have been documented to double every five hours. That is, if you grow it for maximum speed and biomass, rather than stressing it for oil production, which slows the growth rate dramatically. This obsession with oil is what’s slowing down algae development. Instead, when algae is grown for maximum speed and biomass, we get a smaller overall percentage of oil, but from a much bigger volume of biomass. You come out way ahead, because you get massive quantities of starch and proteins for co-products, and you still get your oil. Five different companies are reporting algal biomass yields of 65-220-270-300 and 330 TONS per acre per year.Algae grown on the corn ethanol waste stream will provide additional onsite co-products: The carbohydrates will drop-in to the fermentation process, providing additional onsite ethanol feedstock or biogas digester feedstock. Algal proteins are complete amino acids that will enhance animal feeds and complement corn ethanol distillers grains. Algae as a high-quality complete protein feed supplement, is also a green chlorophyll hemoglobin oxygen-carrier-booster that will improve the health and productivity of dairy cows, hogs, poultry, meat cattle, and farm-raised fish and “seafood”. Chorella, a human supplement, which can be grown at corn ethanol refineries, is currently selling in bulk on the internet for about $18 per pound. And medicinal and nutriceutical Omega 3 Oils derived from algae are now selling for up to $500 per pound. Nutritional supplements for humans may become another revenue stream for the algae-corn ethanol industry. Algae is also a candidate for the production of localized bio-fertilizer, that would replace the massive amounts fertilizers now being made from natural gas and other fossil fuels. Algae can also become a major feedstock for bioplastics. Integrating algae production into corn ethanol production has a huge potential to enhance numerous branches of our economy and their respective environmental footprints.So why isn’t Algae on the “Consensus” short list of recommended feedstocks? Because it’s way above the bar their trying to set, and because it blows the lid off of indirect land use change theory. Heterotrophic algae grown Onsite on the waste streams of corn ethanol refineries will trump cellulosic ethanol, which requires biomass to be grown, harvested, and shipped to a central location, and then stored, handed and processed – still viable.“Corn-cane” is also in the works. That is corn with a sugary stalk. So far, crafting corn with a sugary stalk decreases the production of the grain. However, it’s just a matter of time, before we have corn with all the sugar of sweet sorghum in the stalk and all the grain of our current corn crop. This means that we would be able to extract sugary juice from the entire corn crop, not just the starch from 25% of the crop, and we’ll still have all the grain. This will improve the footprint and also make corn-based ethanol competitive with next generation ethanol.Another cutting edge plan is the “Farmer’s Ethanol” integration system, that will also dramatically improve the environmental footprint of corn ethanol, while mitigating methane released from manure, and instead using it as an onsite resource. We will also be integrating algae and/or duckweed production into the “Farmer’s Ethanol” flow chart. This may give us a new generation of corn ethanol with a 5 to 10 fold return and an environmental footprint that is totally acceptable.There is also a plan to purify corn ethanol byproduct distillers grains for human consumption, so you may soon see it mixed-in with other foods as a protein booster. Distillers grains purified for humans may also become a global food staple that will help to alleviate hunger. We are currently only taking the starch to make ethanol from 1 out of 4 bushels of corn. Every acre of corn used for ethanol also produces about 50 bushels of animal feed, which goes to producing food. The fuel vs food debate has been debunked, and so has indirect land use change theory.Look at biofuels in the context of how they compare with conventional petroleum based fuels. Biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, are derived from “recycled CO2” which is already in the air. Whereas burning petroleum based fuels adds more and more CO2 to the atmosphere. “Newly mined” CO2 released by burning fossil fuels has a far bigger environmental impact than burning biofuels made from “recycled” CO2. Yet the EPA does not credit biofuels accordingly.Ethanol, biodiesel, and biogas release much lower levels of Black Carbon Soot. Whereas dirty fossil fuels, such as coal, heating oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, kerosene, bunker fuel also produce massive amounts of Black Carbon Soot, which heats the air and then settles out on the surface of water, snow and ice, where it causes additional solar thermal absorption. This could be a much bigger climate change factor than CO2. Yet the EPA does not credit biofuels for producing much less Black Carbon Soot than petroleum based fuels.You also need to accurately measure the impact of conventional fuels, before you go comparing them to biofuels. By omission, the EPA’s hidden agenda has been to make petroleum based fuels look much better than they actually are, and to make ethanol and biodiesel look much worse than they actually are. The EPA low-balled the environmental footprint of petroleum based fuels by excluding data on crude oil extracted from energy intensive tar sands, oil shales, and deep offshore oil production. The EPA omitted the deforestation caused by huge open strip mining and tar sands pits. The EPA omitted the environmental impact of shipping foreign oil thousands of miles using dirty bunker fuel, one of heaviest producers of Black Carbon Soot. The EPA omitted the environmental impact of America expending 12-15% of our entire defense budget and the burning of billions of dollars worth of diesel fuel and bunker fuel, every year, in order to protect our foreign oil supplies. Next time you pull-up to the pump, add that to the cost of your fuel. Now tally the cost to protect domestic biofuel – Zero.Lobbyists planted a provision into the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that required all new biofuel production to be at least 50% cleaner than petroleum based fuels Yet the EPA had distorted the environmental footprint of the measuring stick, fuels derived from crude oil. Lobbyists also added another provision that biofuels would be subject to indirect land use change, a misguided theory, before it was even scientifically proven, and before legislators even knew what it was.Consensus? What consensus? There is no consensus to over-regulate biofuels at the expense of our economy. “Accounting rules should consider the full life cycle of biofuels production, transformation, and combustion.” (Tilman 2009) Then we must also hold petroleum based fuels to the same high standard.

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