When you’re attending a farm event it’s always nice to get a farmer’s perspective on things. That’s what I did at the POET Project LIBERTY field day when I spoke with Todd Mathisen who farms just east of Emmetsburg, IA. I asked him what he thought of POET’s idea to harvest corn cobs for cellulosic ethanol production. He said, “I think it’s a great idea. I think we’re definitely going to add value to corn. Anything that produces more revenue, it’s going to take more work but I think open-minded farmers will grab hold of this and I think it’ll be a good deal.”
Now that sounds positive. Todd says the cobs are basically a waste product that isn’t even that good for the ground and he likes the idea of turning them into energy. Seems to make sense to me too. He’s a little apprehensive of the equipment that’s being developed and the labor involved but he’s sure that improvements will be made over the next couple years.
I also asked him about President-Elect Obama. He likes the fact that the Illinois Senator has always been supportive of renewable fuels. He’s interested to see what will happen.
Todd says he just finished his harvesting. He worked it wet, planted it wet but thinks he still got a good crop and he seems pretty happy about it.
You can listen to my interview with Todd here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/poet/poet-liberty-08-mathisen.mp3]
You can also download the interview with this link (mp3).