OSHKOSH - The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is taking its mission of environmental stewardship to another level. With the help of a German company, it's creating a sustainable technology program.
The program provides new opportunities for students and might one day lead to new manufacturing jobs in Northeast Wisconsin.
UW-Oshkosh began pursuing a focus on protecting the environment after a request by students in 2002.
"Some of our students said we'd like to do an energy audit and we said sure why not, let's look at it," said UW-Oshkosh vice chancellor Tom Sonnleitner.
More than four years ago, the university partnered with the Viessmann Group from Germany. The company makes biodigesters that turn waste into energy. One recently went into service on the UW-Oshkosh campus and another will go online at the Allen farm just north of Oshkosh by the end of the year.
Dave Allen says the biodigester will produce far more energy than it requires to power his entire farm. The rest will be sold back to the power company. Allen says its part of his commitment to sustainability.
Friday officials from Viessmann created an endowment to fund the new chair of the school's sustainable technology department. Company officials say the company and the university share a similar vision for the future.
"We saw that the university has nearly the same thoughts as we have about reducing (carbon dioxide) emissions," said Joachim Janssen of Viessmann Group.
There is also hope among school officials the program could lead to Viessmann bringing production of biodigesters to Northeast Wisconsin. Sonnleitner say there have been preliminary talks with the company and state officials. In the meantime Sonnleitner says the sustainable technology degree program will begin next fall.
"A living, learning laboratory idea is really what we are after," said Sonnleitner.
The school is also partnering with Viessmann for another biodigester project in the area. This one would be built at the state's largest dairy operation in Rosendale.
Single-digit temperatures and light snow are greeting Green Bay Packers fans at Lambeau Field.
A celebration at the nation's first school forest is sending Laona students back to their roots.
Several fire departments battling a shed fire in Abrams.
An armed robbery suspect sustained life-threatening injuries after being shot in Fond du Lac County.
First responders helped ring in the holidays at the 45th annual Howard-Suamico Christmas Parade.
Christmas is just two and half weeks away, and kids and families are getting into the holiday spirit.