Agkone : Enviro - Entrepreneurs

Monday, February 22, 1993   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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If you ve got lemons, make lemonade. Right?

But what if you ve got manure?

Erath County, the number 1 milk producer in Texas, has more cows than people and a whole lot more cow-patties than they knew what to do with. Dairies have been shoving manure into huge lagoons, creating a big water pollution problem ... and a big stink, too.

So you can imagine why Sabino Cortez is one of the most popular fellows in Erath County today. A former dairy worker, Sabino thought a machine used in the oil fields could be adapted to solve the county s poop problem. He was right! And, now his patented device is making a cash cow out of dairy manure.

The concept is simple genius: You put the manure into this large cone-shaped machine, which spins at an astounding 27-miles-per-second far faster than my mind spins, how about yours?

So fast that the manure separates into its basic components essentially very fertile solids, and water. The solids can be used as high-quality peat-moss and a natural fertilizer that s cheaper and safer than the chemical stuff. Sabino says the water comes out so clean you can drink it. But I think I ll wait til I see him take the first sip of that.

The process also eliminates the stink. Who d of thought? Sabino did. Ordinary people do the most extraordinary things.

The manure machine is called AGKONE. More than an environmental solution, it s a new industry for places like Erath County. Sabino is selling his machine to dairies as far away as California.

There s even a mobile form of the machine sort of a B.S. Eradicator on Wheels. Maybe we could wheel it up to Congress ... what do you think?

This is Jim Hightower, saying that being pro-environment doesn t make you anti-business. As Sabino Cortez and thousands like him are showing all across the country the environment IS business ... a good business. In Erath County, Texas, it s turning brown stuff into green.

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