Secondary Feature

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]