Lake Land Energy Innovation Conference


Published on March 9 2013 12:33 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

For John and Janet Hasten of Marshall, the Energy Innovation Conference held annually at Lake Land College offered them some very practical information that that plan to implement on their farm in rural Clark County.

“We came out today to learn about some of the money-saving and sustainable practices we can use on the farm,” explained Janet. “My family owns a farm that my husband and I will inherit in the next few years, and there are several aspects we would like to apply so the farm can be around for years to come.”

Specifically for the Hastens, they were most interested in solar energy and self-sustaining agriculture, or permaculture. According to the couple, who attended the conference for the first time this year, they plan to return in the future to ensure their knowledge of green practices keeps growing.

Additionally at the conference, several area school districts participated in the annual Energy Fair. The goal of the middle and high school Energy Fair is to encourage students to be entrepreneurial thinkers in the area of alternative and renewable energy sources and practices for the future.  Categories for Energy Fair projects included those investigating alternative or renewable energy resources and energy conservation.

In the Junior Division, Olivia Franklin, Greenup, won first place; Charity Smith, Greenup, won second place; and Lindsey Alumbaugh, Neoga, won third place. The overall winning school was Cumberland County Middle School, sponsored by Sarah Brown. In the Senior Division, first place went to Ryan Evans, Neoga and the overall winning school was Neoga High School, sponsored by Leanne Craig.

For the Student and Alumni Film Short Competition, first place went to Shelby Phipps, Mattoon for her video “Planet Earth: A Work of Art;” second place was Wong Vang, Mattoon, for “Energy?...Oops!” and third place was Travis Fry for “Ways to Save and Produce Energy.”

Keynote speaker Mayor Bob Dixson of Greensburg, Kan. spoke to a full audience about re-building the south-western Kansas town after a devastating 2007 EF5 tornado leveled it.