“Dream Green” Radio Series Travels to Amana Farms, Where Waste is Turned into Electricity

Interviews with John Peterson, John McGrath, and Rich Pirog

to Air 7 p.m., Sept. 29 on KRUU-FM

Contact: James Moore, Station Manager, KRUU-FM

Phone: 641.233.1617

Email: james@kruufm.com




Fairfield, IA, September 28, 2011—When life gives you manure, make electricity! In other words: Waste not, want not. This week, “Dream Green” co-hosts Stuart Tanner and James Moore head to Iowa’s Amana Colonies, where a $4.9 million anaerobic digester converts cattle manure into power. Tune in online at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 29 at www.kruufm.com for a walking tour of the methane biogas facility with Amana Society CEO John Peterson and Amana Farms Manager John McGrath, as well as an interview with food advocate Rich Pirog. (Rebroadcast Monday, October 3 at 7 a.m. Archives of series available at www.greeniowa.org.)


In 1932, the Amana Society was established by descendants of the German religious group that formed the Amana Colonies in 1855. Amana Farms consists of more than 7,000 acres of farm land and contains the state’s largest private forest reserve.


“The great thing about the Amana Colonies’ anaerobic digester is that the methane from the cow manure is burned to generate electricity. Otherwise, that methane would just be released into the atmosphere, and it is a worse greenhouse gas than CO2,” says show co-host Stuart Tanner. “Our time at the Amana Colonies was a great cultural experience as well as an informative one. Later on in the program, we also share some words on food advocacy and policy from Richard Pirog. He has been heavily involved in the legislative process and encouraging new initiatives in sustainability policy. Pirog’s insights and advice are well worth listening to.”


This week’s program features:


John Peterson is CEO and president of the Amana Society. The fomer president of Alliant Energy International says the digester produces 2.6 megawatts of power, or 15% of Amana Service Co.’s base load electricity in the winter, and 10% of its power in the summer.


Manager John McGrath has been working at Amana Farms for 20 years, managing the facility for five. He oversees some 25 employees and enjoys the diversity of operations.


Rich Pirog spent 20 years at ISU’s Leopold Center, where he was instrumental in developing Iowa’s Local Food and Farm Plan and creating ISU’s MBA program with a minor in sustainable agriculture. He is currently senior associate director of the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University.


“I was impressed with Rich Pirog’s grasp of the breadth and depth of food advocacy,” added co-host James Moore. “How critical all the parts coming together are in creating sustainable food systems—or sustainable systems, in general. It seems to be the unseen or unsung element in a lot of sustainable efforts across many fields.”


NEXT WEEK: “Dream Green” takes another look at Iowa’s outstanding wind industry.





Funded by nearly 70 individuals, businesses and organizations with a matching community grant from the Iowa Power Fund’s Office of Energy Independence, the “Dream Green” series is being released under a Creative Commons license. City administrators, radio stations, schools, and organizations involved in energy efficiency and sustainable practices are being offered free use of the series.


“Dream Green” is produced by the popular hosts of KRUU-FM’s Tanner & Moore, Stuart Tanner and James Moore, with the creative guidance of Maharishi University of Management faculty.


Stuart Tanner is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared on BBC, Channel 4, and National Geographic. He is an assistant professor in the Media & Communications Department at Maharishi University of Management.


James Moore is co-founder and has served as executive director of KRUU-FM since its inception in 2006. A published poet and gifted musician, he serves on adjunct faculty at MUM where he teaches Radio & Web Broadcasting.


KRUU became the Midwest's first solar-powered radio station on September 9, 2009. “A business on the forefront of sustainability,” wrote then Governor Chet Culver. “With this project, KRUU-LP is contributing to a greener, safer Iowa.” Featuring 80 locally-produced weekly programs broadcasting to the greater Fairfield area, KRUU streams online at www.kruufm.com. You can follow the journey of discovery at www.greeniowa.org.