Secondary Feature

Dennis Watson, left, and Chris Clemons, faculty members in the Department of Agricultural Systems and Education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, test fly a 3D Robotics Solo unmanned aerial vehicle, popularly known as a drone. The university is adding a ­component on agricul­tural drones to its curriculum. (Photo by Russell Bailey)

SIU students learn techniques for sky-high farming

by Andrea Hahn Beginning this fall, agriculture ­students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale have the opportunity to learn about the next game-­changing agricultural tool before it takes off – ­literally. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — or drones as they are popularly known — are in hover mode and poised to change ­farming. Christopher Clemons and […]

Graphic_Logo

Americans are rediscovering the Cooperative Difference

Your alarm goes off and you get out of bed. You go outside and grab the morning paper. You sit down at the kitchen table to read your paper while enjoying a glass of juice and some toast. After breakfast you head down to the local hardware store to pick up supplies to tackle your […]

Six generations of family have run Rendleman Orchards in Union County, with the newer generations reviving farm interests in vegetables to their peach and apple crops.

Nurturing a multi-generation farm business

Overflowing carts, bushel baskets and antique peach boxes are perched on the front porch of the Rendleman Farm Market. Behind the welcome mat, decades of family farm photographs corral the shop that’s stuffed with fresh produce, local foods and retro kitchen items. Sure, there are bushels and boxes of apples for the ­picking, but there […]

78465545_19440000_300_3600_5400_C_R_jpg

Keeping energy affordable

By Justin LaBerge Like shelter, food and clothing, ­electricity has become a staple of our lives. When the price of energy goes up, you have less money to spend on other things. For some families, that might mean a shorter ­vacation or one less meal at a restaurant. But for many families, increases in energy […]

A Virginia Rail sneaks about in the underbrush. Emiquon is rich in bird life and attracts birdwatchers from all over the state. Migration periods offer the greatest possibility of a number of different species.

The Emiquon Preserve is just what the doctor ordered

By Kevin Wright I had been chasing the ­sunrise for a few minutes now. The sky had already turned a ­beautiful tangerine color so I knew that it was only a ­matter of minutes before the fiery ball of orange would break the ­horizon. I had no other ­reason to be in a hurry other than ­seeing […]

Title

The ABCs of FAFSA student aid

Getting ready for college can be both exciting and exhausting for students and parents, alike. First there are decisions to be made. What is the chosen field of study? What kind of school – a Big 10 school, small ­private ­college or the local community college? Live at home, close to home or go as […]

2015_08_SW_Value_of_the_Grid

The electric grid connects us all

By Justin LaBerge Our electric grid is an engineering marvel and also one of the most complex systems in the world. It’s grown over the past century moving from a complex network of independently owned and operated power plants, and transmission and distribution lines to become more ­interconnected. At first, power flowed one way but […]

Illinois electric cooperatives own and maintain 56,000 miles of right-of-way and trees and power lines like this don’t mix. They cause outages and even worse — safety issues. Make sure your children know that climbing trees near power lines is extremely dangerous.

The hard truth about trimming trees

Lynn Frasco, retiring Manager of Menard Electric Cooperative in Petersburg, took a question from the audience at his final annual meeting in June. It was a question every manager has had to answer and Frasco has probably answered it hundreds of times. “Why do you have to cut our trees?” Frasco got a little ­emotional […]

Northern Cardinal male_021

Gardening that’s for the birds

By Kristen Hannum Gardening with an eye to attracting birds, plus the ­butterflies and bees that come along with them, means gardening with a completely different mindset than we’re used to. So why do it? The joy of creating a lively home for a wide variety of colorful, lively birds turns out to be reason […]

You can lower your AC thermostat and stay comfortable with a ceiling paddle fan.

Simple steps for staying comfortable with less AC

Dear Jim: My ­family is trying to use less air-­conditioning this ­summer to save ­electricity. Do you have any good tips for us so that we are not terribly uncomfortable in our home? – Ron H. Dear Ron: First set your thermostat a few degrees higher. The ­savings should be from 1 to 3 percent […]