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Ag and Energy Expo planned in Staples

STAPLES — The third annual Central Lakes College & Mid-Central Federal Ag & Energy Expo Feb. 9 is drawing state attention.

“We will connect energy professionals and exhibitors for the day of networking to foster the exchange of important ideas and information impacting the renewable energy industry,” stated Julia Palmer, marketing and public relations director for Mid-Central Savings Bank.

Gov. Mark Dayton was invited to attend, but sent his regrets. The governor’s office reported since the event is important to Dayton, he asked Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Fredrickson to attend on his behalf.

The Expo brings together leading professionals and practitioners from energy companies who work to provide environmental friendly technology, green energy and highly efficient energy forms. The idea is to bring top experts together to accumulate their ideas and knowledge on how the industry functions currently, as well what could run it in the future.

“Energy plays a critical role in our daily lives,” Palmer stated in written release about the expo. “We can secure our nation’s future by improving the way we use energy and by exploring new ways to harness energy, while protecting our environment, our national security, and human health.”

Expo participants will hear presentations and panel discussions, as well as attend break-out sessions across all energy sectors including wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and bioenergy.

Organizers say the Central Lakes College (CLC) and Mid-Central Federal (MCF) Ag & Energy Expo is a place for knowledge and systematic techniques to be bounced off each other, which may develop better technical practices and brighter

ideas to keep meeting the high demand for green energy.

All the issues and problems which face the industry currently are also brought to the table, while businesses display their products and services to potential clientele to foster stronger and better business relations.

The event is expected to draw those interested in learning more about green energy, such as those in the building industry and other property owners and contractors, looking to implement green energy technology.

The expo reported exhibitors are scheduled to attend as they look to increase their own understanding of the eco-friendly green energy industry, with leaders in the market such as Widseth Smith & Nolting, Hunt Technologies, as well as many other leaders “displaying their own innovations in the line of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, alternate fuel utilization for vehicles.”

Come and see for yourself first hand the amazing vehicles now running on the UFO fuel, under the direction of Dave Winkelman.”

Key speakers include:

■ Lynn Hunt and Amy McLain for Hunt Utilities Group on “Sustainable Homes — Future, Present and Past.” Paul Hunt, president and founder of Hunt Utilities Group. Hunt started Hunt Technologies in 1985 with an idea. The idea had nothing to do with making money, but had everything to do with transmitting data from point A to point B using almost no power. The idea was to transmit data slowly within an ultra narrow bandwidth. This came at a time when the world was asking for faster and faster data throughput. Ultra narrow bandwidth technology was patented by Paul Hunt and evolved into electrical power meter readers called Turtles.

Today, millions of power meters at homes and businesses have Turtle transmitters that send electrical usage information back to power substations. Power companies quickly embraced the technology because it reduced or eliminated the need to have people read power meters. In addition, they get information on peak power usage times and tracking for power outages. Hunt Technologies constructed a $5 million building in 1999 near Pequot Lakes.

Paul and Lynn Hunt started Hunt Utilities Group (HUG) to pursue research, development and application of technologies and methods that support sustainable living and environmental stewardship.

■ Widseth, Smith, Nolting: Since 1975, Widseth Smith Nolting (WSN) grew from a small group of engineers in Crookston, to more than 150 professional engineers, registered architects, land surveyors, environmental WSN is a multi-disciplined firm with experts in civil, mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering; architecture; landscape architecture; land surveying; environmental services; and water resources. The business has scientists and support personnel working from eight offices throughout the Upper Midwest. Baxter, Alexandria, Bemidji, Crookston, East Grand Forks, Grand Forks, Red Wing and Rochester.

■ WERC: See first-hand Dave Winkelman’s latest project — a used Chevy pickup with a 6.6 liter and Volkswagen Jetta diesel engine Winkelman plans to run on straight vegetable oil (SVO). We are also looking at looking at doing a collaboration with diesel mechanics on the conversion and would like to feature it at the expo. Winkelman, project manager, president and founder, has has more than 30 years of experience in construction, conservation-based education and marketing, targeted to national audiences of consumers. Winkelman also has 25 years expertise in radio/television programming, syndication and media relations. From college on, he has been doing renewable energy education, Conservation Marketing, and energy efficiency technologies to your projects.

The expo will at Central Lakes College Staples Campus from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 9.

Contact Julia Palmer of Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank at 218-639-7615 or 218-640-0193 or email to for more information.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889