• Josh Flint

    Appearance Counts, Trust Me

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on January 27, 2010

    My first job out of college was writing for a small newspaper in Belleville, Ill. The office was composed primarily of young writers, also just out of college.   Looking back, it seems no one on the editorial team had a good understanding of "business casual." Jeans were common, collared shirts were sporadic, and, unfortunately, shorts and flip flops were acceptable.   I still remember the first time I felt way underdressed. I was supposed to cover an event at a country club. Needless to…

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  • Josh Flint

    How Does Cellulosic Ethanol Remove the Food Vs. Fuel Scenario?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on January 15, 2010

    During the University of Illinois' Bioenergy Feedstocks Symposium, none of the speakers actually said, "Corn ethanol is bad."   However, there was a noticeable subtext that advanced biofuels (i.e. cellulosic ethanol from miscanthus or switchgrass) are the wave of the future and corn-based ethanol is on its way out. For those who haven't seen these biomass crops, both look like extremely tall prairie grasses. Miscanthus grows about 10 feet tall, while switchgrass is a bit shorter.   Sarah…

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  • Josh Flint

    Are Your Power Costs Too High?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on January 8, 2010

    Today, I braved the blowing and drifting snow to attend the University of Illinois' annual Corn and Soybean Classics. And, boy, I'm glad I did.   For farmers, U of I's seminars are a good place to pick up production tips and a hint of research on the horizon. It's also a chance to discuss the brutal year that was 2009.   For me, the conference was a veritable gold mine for story ideas. All of the presenters were very good, but I was absolutely enthralled with U of I economist Gary…

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  • Josh Flint

    Faxing Appears To Be On Its Way Out

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on January 4, 2010

    As I look toward 2010, I'm convinced I could go an entire year without sending a fax.   With the multifunction printer/fax/scanner/copier that Farm Progress has so graciously provided me, I find it's sometimes simpler to scan documents and e-mail them, rather than deal with faxing.   When I recently posted my thoughts on Facebook, the comments that came in made me pause and consider our evolving communication network. As Verizon and AT&T argue about maps, rollover minutes and 3G…

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