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ENERGY AND AGRICULTURE

Karl Ohm, editor and publisher, Farm Energy News.com
Photo: Karl Ohm

Welcome to farmenergynews.com. For more than 30 years, I have been covering a wide variety of topics relating to agriculture and natural resource issues –– on the domestic and international levels.

I have contributed to some of the top farm magazines in the country, such as Successful Farming, The Corn and Soybean Digest, and several others.

During this span, energy and agriculture –– and their relationship to renewable or natural resources –– have always remained some of the most fascinating and interesting topics to cover.

But while I have attended numerous energy meetings throughout my career, I have always felt that farmers and ranchers, as well as fruit and vegetable growers, needed to be heard on these important issues.

That is one of the reasons why I decided to jump in into the "electronic" arena and launch this web site. While it's a start, I want this web site to serve your interests and concerns, and I want you to feel that you can participate in its future development.

Pressing energy issues are, indeed, once again squarely on the front burner. Even with the recent and dramatic drop in oil prices and demand, the United States still forks out nearly $225 billion yearly for imported oil and related products. (That figure was about $700 billion when oil topped the $130 per barrel mark last spring.) So with market volatility still in the air, this erosive impact of imports on our national and financial security can no longer be denied or ignored.

Exporting these dollars drains our economy, and it often undermines our ability to chart a lasting course towards more self-sufficiency.

When adding this staggering amount to the growing trade imbalances that continue to gnaw away at the United States' economic foundation, one doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to grasp the urgency we face to dramatically change our course and to start solving the problem –– once and for all. Dealing with our transportation problem also needs to be a chief part of that equation since it still accounts for about two-thirds of the liquid fuels we consume in the United States.

Yet, the good news is that the gravity of the situation has encouraged more entrepreneurs to put on their thinking caps, take on risks, and draw in capital to generate solutions. In recent years, for example, the number of fundamental and applied research projects in renewable energy has mushroomed. The race towards self-sufficiency is definitely in full swing.

For a more detailed view about oil imports, click here: U.S. OIL IMPORTS

In agriculture, energy management has become increasingly more urgent as costs continue to rise and cut into profit margins. Dairying in my home state of Wisconsin is just one case in point.

For example, about five years ago, dairy farms in Wisconsin typically spent an average of $57 to $91 per cow per year on energy, which included electricity, natural gas, LP gas and heating oil, according to the University of Wisconsin-Extension.

With the rapid rise in energy costs, that per cow figure has already shot up to $238 in 2007, according to preliminary figures from the University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability.

Of that total, utility costs alone now account for slightly more than $97 per head –– or about $12,700 per year. Expressed in another way, this equates into about .39 cents per hundredweight (cwt.) of milk.

So, I encourage you to let me know what you may doing as it relates to renewable energy and energy management on your farm.

You can share your insights and information by getting published on this web site.

If you have questions, you can contact me directly at: editor@farmenergynews.com or by linking to: SUBMIT YOUR NEWS for more details on how to submit your information.

Again, if you have any questions about how to submit material, just e-mail me by linking to the address above.

Some of my background includes:

I am a multi-disciplined and award-winning professional in agricultural journalism, photography and natural resource issues with solid background in news and feature writing, layout, newspaper and magazine production, editorial planning, data base management, and advertising/marketing/communication strategies.

• Extensive sales/marketing and public relations program experience (as an account executive) with agricultural machinery, industrial, seed, and other agri-business type companies.

• Highly experienced in agricultural journalism and photography in a very wide variety of subjects.

• Well-versed and highly experienced in manual and digital photography. I have moderate to good experience in Quark X-Press, Access and Excel. Experienced in Word, Adobe Photoshop, desktop publishing and prepress magazine, brochure, publication, sales literature, and direct mail material production.

SERVICES PROVIDED / CAPABILITIES

Feature writing and photography

Company brochures and other sales collateral pieces

Resource information/background reports for on-farm energy projects

Public relations / news release writing and magazine submissions

Data base management

Advertising / marketing / communication strategies

Web site development (Dreamweaver CS3 and various extensions)

Flash animation development for banner and other web-based ads

 

COMPLETE CAREER BIOGRAPHY

For my full Career Bio, just go to this link: Karl Ohm Career Biography

Here, you can also find a couple links to some of the material that I have written in the past.

 

So, enjoy the farmenergynews.com web site. There will be more pages and information and resources to come. And, again, please feel free to join in with your stories, photos, comments, and opinions.

Let's share information and move forward in becoming more independent and self-sufficient upon a foundation of sustainability.

SPECIAL NOTE: I just started up a Blog. The Farm Energy News Blog is linked here, or you can link to it off the main home page.