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The Buzz

Coal and crops: here's one connection.

I'm a bit incredulous at the rhetoric issued by Governor Kathleen Sebelius last week, concerning the destination of energy generated by the proposed coal plants near Holcomb.

During a media conference last week following an attempt to compromise on the issue between Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and state Congressional leaders, Sebelius says her offer to allow one 660 megawatt plant (as opposed to two 700 megawatt plants, which Sunflower Electric wishes to build) still stands…

  • "I believe the middle ground may be a single power plant, which emits less pollution and whose priority customers are - and would always be - Kansans," she said, according to a story in the Topeka Capital-Journal…
  • Hmmm. I wonder if the governor realizes that 90% of the wheat grown by Kansas farmers is consumed by non-Kansans. And if I'm not mistaken, most – if not all - of the airplanes built by the state's manufacturers also go to customers outside of Kansas. In fact, Kansas exports a lot of goods and services. Why should energy be any different?…
  • Meanwhile, on the ethanol front, the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center has secured 1,000 acres near Guymon in northwest Oklahoma, which will be devoted to the world's largest stand of switchgrass devoted to cellulosic ethanol production…
  • The switchgrass field is just 35 miles away from a USDA-funded prototype cellulosic ethanol plant near Hugton, Kan., to be built by Abengoa. The switchgrass field will serve as a living laboratory for cellulosic ethanol research and will supply the Abengoa plant with feedstock when the plant is completed in 2010…
  • No doubt we're all getting a little jaded about the upcoming presidential election. For kicks, I took the World's Smallest Political Quiz,, to determine which side of the fence I'm on. Try it – it only takes a minute (in case you're interested, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool conservative.)…
  • The Kansas FFA Foundation took delivery of a brand-new Toyota Tundra pickup truck, which will be used by the Foundation and Kansas FFA at many FFA and major agri-business events throughout the state, including the Kansas FFA Convention, which occurs in Manhattan May 31-June 1…

The Toyota Motor Company delivered an eye-catching new Toyota Tundra truck to the Kansas FFA in late

April. Kansas FFA president Bethany Bohnenblust is taking the keys from Charles Hancock, district manager and Brett Parham, sales manager.

  • Toyota, according to FFA Foundation executive director Jill Zimmerman, donates some 54 courtesy vehicles to the National FFA during annual convention…
  • Are you one of the thousands of farmers dealing with chronic pain issues? If so, you might be interested in a seminar hosted by the Kansas AgrAbililty Project in Wichita May 22. The seminar, "Growing Well with Pain," is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sedgwick County Extension Office. Penney Cowan, American Chronic Pain Association, will lead the seminar, which offers tips to manage pain. Lunch is free; pre-registration is appreciated. Log onto for information, or call 785-532-2976.
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