Food Versus Fuel

Inside Dakota Ag

A moss-covered farmer is really "green" in this University of Minnesota Arboretum exhibit.

Published on: June 18, 2010

I saw a good biofuels exhibit by the Minnesota Extension Service at the University of Minnesota Arboretum over the weekend.

In one exhibit, a living mass of moss covered a Volkswagon Beetle. In another, a farmer made from living plants sat a stride a Ford tractor. Both exhibits really brought to life the idea that farmers are “green.”

Other exhibits included plantings of corn, soybeans, sunflowers, barley, native grasses, aspens and willows. I particular liked the one showing how farmers might bale willow branches for delivery to a biomass power plant.

The whole project did a good job explaining that biofuel isn’t a “food versus fuel”  issue anymore. It’s a ‘food plus fuel” opportunities.

State and county fairs in the Dakotas should try to do the same thing.


This farmer on a tractor in a U of M Arboretum exhibit about biofuels is as green as you can get.



A Volkswagen Beetle in a U of M Arboretum exhibit not only is powered by plants, it looks like it is made from plants.