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Serving: WI

Lights, camera, action!


Sydney: Did you know that Wisconsin farmers are growing an amazing crop that has the ability to both feed and fuel the world?

Max: That crop – is corn.

Sydney: Maize is another name for corn that's used by people in many countries around the world. Corn is such an a-maiz-ing crop because it can be made into 600 different products! That is amazing!

Max: While most corn is used to feed animals, today a large part of our country's corn crop is being used to make the fuel of our future - ethanol.

Sydney: Ethanol is an environmentally-friendly, grain-based fuel that's made from corn – the very same corn that you see growing in the fields across our state.

Max: Ethanol makes gasoline burn cleaner, and reduces air pollution. Best of all – we can grow a new crop of corn every year!

That's a dialogue clip from the "Into the Outdoors" episode featuring Max who is the narrator of the ethanol plant segment which was shot at Renew Energy in Jefferson – the world's largest dry grind ethanol plant. Also appearing on the episode is Wisconsin Corn Grower Mark Schroeder and Sydney, the 13-year-old star of the show. The episode, which was taped last July, will air across the state the weekend of Jan. 24-25.

So what was it like performing for the camera and answering questions?

"It was definitely a learning experience," says Schroeder. "I'm not a great fan of the camera, but it was intriguing. There were things we did three or four times to get it sound right."

It's not everyday that you get a film crew to come to your farm.

"I think it took about four hours to film the segment at our farm," Schroeder says. "They came out in May when we were planting corn to shoot some footage. Sydney is professional at what she is doing. She certainly handles herself very, very well."

Schroeder says he talked about how he farms differently than his grandfather did.

"I explained that the biggest change is the large size equipment we use," Schroeder says, "but because we use strip tillage, we don't plow our fields the way my grandfather did. We also are using modern technology to analyze yields and seeding applications."

Schroeder says the experience was worth it.

"We know it's for a good cause," he says. "I think it's important. A lot of kids and adults for that matter don't know what a farm is really like. A lot of city people don't even know the difference between field corn and sweet corn. So it's important to be able to tell the story.

In case you miss the "Into the Outdoors" television show, a DVD of the 15-minute segment will be shown between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., on Thursday, Jan. 29 at the Wisconsin Corn/Soy Expo at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The DVD will also be shown to fourth graders in Wisconsin through the Ag in the Classroom program. . Clips from the production, broken into four parts, are posted on YouTube at or go to and type in the key words Wisconsin corn. Links to the videos also are posted online at

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