Tree Recycling & Vilsack On Changing Attitudes

Tree Recycling & Vilsack On Changing Attitudes

Tree Recycling & Vilsack On Changing Attitudes plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Is rural America becoming less relevant to politics? Has the big city influence caused Washington to forget where their meals come from? Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack thinks that might be the case due to the shrinking rural population. Vilsack says rural Americans need to recognize that and begin to reverse it - his point being rural residents are the ones who have written off the future of rural areas because many have adopted a preservation mindset - not a growth mindset. Unless rural Americans change their perspective and respond and react to the challenges they face - Vilsack says the capacity of rural America and its power and its reach will continue to decline.

Well now that the holidays are officially over it’s time to think about taking down that tree and packing away the decorations. If it’s a real tree, consider what you are going to do with it. Buzz Warren, a tree grower with the National Christmas Tree Association suggests recycling.

WARREN: There are recycling programs in every major city, most smaller cities, counties all over the country. Now a lot of those may have been picked up by the city or the county or the general refuse collection but those trees are recycled. They’re chipped. They’re used as mulch, they’re used as walking/running paths, they’re used for erosion control.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

I always knew that the potato was a tasty, healthy little spudder, but I didn’t know it could also be an aide to researchers in the technology industry. Used to be passengers couldn’t anymore surf the internet while mid-flight than they could, well, fly. Now they can, but the signal is spotty at best. That’s why Boeing began working on a way to make in-flight Wi-Fi signals stronger and more consistent throughout the airplane cabin. They needed test passengers, so to speak, in order to see how they interact with electronic signal properties, but since not very many people want to spend hours upon hours setting in a parked airplane no matter what you pay them, sacks of potatoes were used. And researchers found that water logged spuds interact with signals in a way similar to the way people would, plus they’re cheap. Project SPUDS, as Boeing likes to call it, made it possible for such testing to be reduced from a period of weeks, to just a little over ten hours. So the next time you’re flying at 30 thousand feet above the ground at 600 miles per hour and happily browsing the internet at the same time remember that it was the lowly potato that made that pleasure possible.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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