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Gilligan and castaways tell biodiesel story

by Sharlene Irete

Castaways from an uncharted desert isle presented the pros and cons of biodiesel use at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center on Friday. Allyson Lammiman’s agriculture class from Douglas High School enlisted the cast of “Gilligan’s Island” to demonstrate how biodiesel could be used as an alternative to petroleum fuel.

The ag students will perform their “Gilligan’s Island” skit 20-24 times in the community as part of the Ag Issues Forum contest. They are judged on their presentation for the state FFA competition in March.



The FFA is a youth organization for agricultural leadership.

The winner of the state contest goes on to the 2006 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis in October.



“They will compete at state and develop a portfolio based on local presentations,” said Lammiman. “FFA is great for the community and that’s the whole idea.”

On the pro side of the presentation, environmentalist Ginger, played by Lammiman filling in for Leah Skinner, said biodiesel is a renewable biofuel and how its use could “turn an expense into a profit.”

Agriculturist Mary Ann, junior Jessica Kolbus, told how biodiesel is the only viable alternative to petroleum products.

The U.S. government, represented by sophomore Roman Singh as the Professor, said biodiesel could be used and replenished at the same time.

The other side of the issue was presented by Mrs. Howell the consumer, played by junior Caitlin Gallagher, who considered the higher cost of biodiesel fuel.

Junior Kayla Watschke, as economist Thurston Howell III, said, “Biodiesel can’t be produced in large enough quantities to be an alternative. We still have petroleum reserves.”

User Gilligan, played by junior Jackie Koster, said, “Biodiesel may be better as an additive than as an alternative.”

Dana Pardee as the Skipper said in her summary, “Should biodiesel be marketed as an alternative to petroleum diesel?”

While the students present both sides of the issue and answer questions at the end of the presentation, they leave conclusions up to the audience.

Watschke, out of her character of Thurston Howell, III, said, “Biodiesel probably won’t become popular until people have to pay much more for petroleum fuel.”

For information about the biodiesel play: Douglas High School at 782-5136.