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Big Ten film crew visits Anderson farm

A crew from Big Ten Network shoots video of Representative Paul Anderson (R-Starbuck) during a recent visit to Anderson’s farm. The network is preparing a video production pertaining to technology being developed locally to benefit the economy. (Contributed)

A Big Ten Network film crew recently spent the better part of an afternoon capturing footage at the farm of Representative Paul Anderson (R-Starbuck).

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The network’s production highlights a project at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris that uses electricity produced by a wind turbine to separate nitrogen from the air and converts it into ammonia fertilizer.

If the process can be fine-tuned and done on a commercial scale, it would allow nitrogen fertilizer, a key component in the production of corn, to be produced locally, Anderson said.

Anderson indicated that technology could help lower transportation costs for the bulk commodity and give rural Minnesota another economy boost.

“It’s an exciting possibility and the team at the University of Minnesota and the research station at Morris is to be commended for their work in this area,” Anderson said. “If we could use two very common components that are all around us, namely the wind which produces electricity for the process along with nitrogen from the air, it’s win-win situation.

“Nitrogen is a key factor in the production of corn, and currently, most of it is produced a long ways from Minnesota, either in the Gulf region or overseas.”

Anderson said the Big Ten Network chose to visit his farm because of his familiarity with the project, including having attended a renewable energy conference last summer at the West Central Research and Outreach Center.

The video will air during Live B1G Minnesota, set to debut on the Big Ten Network this January or February. Check local listings for Big Ten Network availability or see for more details as they become available.