Tom Butler takes great pride in the power of his pig poop. More specifically, the 77-year-old Lillington native and lifelong farmer takes pride in that poop’s potential. His covered lagoons are trapping methane gas, which in turn is powering his farm and will soon provide energy to its own grid of homes in Harnett County. Those giant green plastic tarps are also keeping the smells at bay — much to the appreciation of his neighbors in the rural, southwestern portion of the county — and plans are in the works to recycle the leftover sludge and produce nitrogen-based fertilizer.
Roughly 30 percent of all entering freshmen on any given college campus are first-generation college students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That percentage goes up when you loosen the definition of “first generation” — some define it as a student whose parents didn’t obtain at least a four-year degree.