Powerful good

If you’re wanting a new source of electricity on your farm, or are interested in exploring new uses for your crops, there’s a place just for you at Farm Science Review: Ohio State’s Energy Tent.

Solar energy, biobased products, more

Inside, you’ll find displays and information on solar energy, anaerobic digestion (which turns food waste and manure, for example, into biogas), and biobased products and materials, like those made from soybeans and corn. CFAES experts will be there to talk and to answer your questions. You can even play a Jeopardy-style biobased trivia game, and possibly win prizes — biobased prizes.

Nick Zachrich, manager of the Review, said the tent will show you ways to reduce your energy use, lower your energy costs and produce your own renewable energy. It’s helpful information, he said, because electricity use and demand have gone up as farms have become more tech-intensive.

Renewable energy, conserving energy

Eric Romich, energy education field specialist with CFAES’s Ohio State University Extension outreach arm, will have a solar panel displayed in the tent, as well as resources and a modeling tool for evaluating projects. You also can check out preliminary results from a study of electric peak demand in agriculture: advanced energy meters, installed on swine and dairy farms, tracked peak demand and power quality for specific motor loads.

Romich said that overall, the aim is to increase what you know about energy consumption and management so you can make informed decisions on your energy investments.

Play ‘Jeopardy’ game, win prizes

You’ll find the biobased trivia game in the part of the tent organized by CFAES’s Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Center (OBIC). The game will test your knowledge of biobased products, materials, careers and more, said Casey Needham, communications specialist with the center.

Biobased products also include, for example, ethanol, bioplastics and soy-based industrial lubricants.

“We’ll have three iPad kiosks where contestants can choose a fun avatar and buzz in when they think they know the answer,” Needham said. You can compete on all three days of the Review, a leaderboard will show the top contestants, and “at the end of FSR, we’ll crown a winner” and award the prizes.

He said the idea is to be both fun and educational — a way to learn about biobased materials and “find out they’re used in more ways than you think.”

Read more about adding solar energy to your farm.

Find out more about OBIC.

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