OUT OF BOUNDS By Geary (Smedley) Leason

Big Profits in Poop!

Richard Smarmy, professor of Agriscience at UATS (University of Arkansas at Toad Suck), held a press conference at Motel 8 the other day, to announce an environmental/agricultural breakthrough which offers unlimited profit opportunities to farmers and non-farmers alike.

Here is how Prof. Smarmy explained the situation: “Well, you all are very aware of the big stink – both figuratively and literally – that has arisen from the State Ag Department giving its OK to large agricultural enterprise to be the home to 4,500 pigs. This hog-raising set up is located near the Buffalo River, giving many citizens great concern about the threat of the swine waste generated from this operation, (estimated to be about 200,000 gallons of waste every week), seeping into and fouling the pristine ground waters feeding the Buffalo River watershed, (a national treasure enjoyed by thousands as a wonderful recreation site for swimming, fishing, camping, canoeing, and hiking). And yet, people do also love their bacon, pork pull and greasy rinds. So farmers are asked to continue raising these tasty hogs by the millions which in turn creates a lot of very smelly poop in the process. Up to now, hog raisers “dispose” the hog waste by dumping the flushed out poop into lagoons, letting nature, through it evaporation process, condense the mess and then spraying the amonia-rich condensate on fields as a fertilizer.”

Prof. Smarmy continued: “The long-standing practice of “lagooning” leaves a cauldron of problems, the least of which is the sense-destroying odor that permeates the atmosphere for miles around. But worse are the problems created by the runoff from the spray fields and the spills from the lagoons. Most of us don’t experience these assaults to our noses because hog farms are typically small and local, with none found in Fairfield Bay. The nearby chicken coops, now mostly history, were bad enough, however.”

At this point in the conference, Prof. Smarmy handed out a brochure which explained in detail the “Poop to Profits!” system and opportunities as developed by Smarmy Laboratories, Duke University and Google. The “PTP” works like this, quoting from the brochure: “… the swine waste is collected and pumped into an anaerobic digester tank which contains a bacteria that consumes the manure and releases methane gas. The methane (the source of the unholy stink) is then burned to power a 65-kilowatt micro turbine, which generates electricity to power the entire waste management system and also much of the farm’s normal operations. After the manure is processed in the digester, the digested matter is then pumped into an aeration bin, where it is treated for ammonia and other pollutants. This final process presents a purified product that then can be used as fertilizer and/or for flushing out barns.”

Wow! The PTP system not only meets all the environmental standards for reduction of odors and emissions, it also creates economic by-products such as energy and fertilizer. This process, while extremely beneficial to hog farmers, can also be employed by the average home owner as a profit center, eliminating the need for purchasing electricity for home use and then selling the excess electricity back to the electric utility, much like the excess electricity generated by domestic roof solar panels.

In addition to the obvious profit opportunities for the homeowner described above, there are also employment and investment opportunities in the PTP system. For instance, the swine waste – the energy producing feedstock, needs to be transported to the homeowner’s PTP setup, which easily fits into a standard sized backyard. The swine waste, gathered at various hog raising farms in the area, will be delivered to the PTP’s backyard by way of “honey bucket” trucks similar to the septic tank trucks often seen in the Bay, creating a great investment opportunity for buyers of these trucks. In addition, the PTP system will need drivers for these trucks, offering high paying jobs to willing and able folks.

Sitting enthralled in the Motel 8 meeting room was a cash-rich Ernest Smedley, just back from Las Vegas after his quickie marriage and even quicker but very profitable annulment from “Char” Murgatroyd. Smedley’s cash was burning holes in his pockets and Prof. Smarmy’s deal was looking like a sure thing to him.

Next Week: Smedley does not come out smelling like a rose.

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