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Environmentalism

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble
The Truth Network Radio
November 3, 2022 6:33 pm

Environmentalism

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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November 3, 2022 6:33 pm

Environmentalism

Steve talks to Dr. Renton Rathbun from BJU Seminary and other professors there as well as some special guests.

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Wake up everyone, it's time for the Steve Noble Show, where biblical Christianity meets the everyday issues of life, in your home, at work, and even in politics. Steve is an ordinary man who believes in an extraordinary God, and on his show there's plenty of grace and lots of truth, but no sacred cows. Call Steve now at 866-34-TRUTH, that's 866-34-TRUTH, or check him out online at the SteveNobleShow.com.

And now, here's your host, Steve Noble. Okay, welcome back, everybody loves a good giveaway, so today, from our friends at Bob Jones University, for the first ten callers, we're going to give away an Earth Day t-shirt. That's Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd of 2023, and it's going to have a Bob Jones logo on the back, and it's going to have Earth Day with Jesus hugging the Earth on the front. So the first ten callers today are going to get a free Earth Day t-shirt, courtesy of Bob Jones University.

Everybody's laughing at me, I mean, what's the problem with that? Yes, actually, I'm not doing that, and I do not know whether Bob Jones University celebrates Earth Day, but that is a part of the conversation today. As we unpack something that this is, I wouldn't call it a third rail for evangelical Christians, I think it's a rail that we just don't bother to notice, and that's the rail of environmentalism. Environmental activism, of course, as Christians, we're going to talk about stewardship of the Earth, we're going to use biblical terminology, but out there in the world, it's really about the environment and environmentalism, and of course, I teach that in my Christian ethics class, it's one of my favorite topics, and the day that I introduce it, I always do word association.

I say environmentalist, what do you say, and all these kids that are growing up in pretty conservative Christian homes are liberal and wacko and tree hugger and Birkenstocks and all that kind of stuff, and I think a lot of times we assume that environmentalism, hearing about the environment, engaging in the environment, talking about something like carbon credits, would make you essentially given over. You're a Romans 1 reprobate mind given over to the way of the world, however, there actually is a rather robust Christian theology behind the issue of environmentalism today, so we're going to talk about that today with our buddy Dr. Renton Rathmans back in the house, and then he's got two of the other professors at Bob Jones University that work in the chemistry department. We're going to set up a theology of environmentalism or stewardship of the earth first, and then the second half of the show, this is going to be really cool, we're actually going to have two students on, that just last year, about a year ago, won the X Prize, this was with the Elon Musk's foundation, and really an incredible idea dealing with environmentalism as a business, and environmental impact, so we're going to talk to them in the second half of the show, but Renton, welcome back, it's good to see you, and please introduce us to your two guests there, and then we'll crack this open. Absolutely, it's good to be here.

Today we have with us David Gardingy, Gardangy, sorry, thank you, I was working on it before the show, but I obviously blew that up, so you can call him Dave for short, and then we have Dr. Brian Vogt, both of our chemistry faculty, and both, I think, is going to really add something exciting to what we're going to talk about today. Now with my introduction setting aside the Earth Day t-shirts, do we as a church, generally the evangelical world, Bible believing, Jesus following Christians, would you say that we do have a robust act of theology of stewardship, i.e. environmentalism, David and Brian, or would you think that we're kind of lacking in that area? I kind of see the Christian churches, something we had talked a little bit earlier, as maybe falling a little behind on this, I mean we use another term, conservatism, or conservation, right?

And we claim to be conservative and caring and trying to pull in on some of these issues, and we don't see much of that. People kind of, when there's a project to be done, or there's pollution out there, if your first response is like, oh, it's not that bad, or whether it is or isn't, it's kind of like this, we've got to, we step back a little bit. So I think we tend to not have as strong as a very strong environmental part in the church, at least it doesn't appear so. Right, and Brian, and it's good to see you again, does the Bible speak much to this, or do we have to kind of cobble together a good theology of creation care? Well, I'm going to use the word that I like, which I know is not the word you like, but I'm going to use the word stewardship here.

Yeah, it's good. Because I think the Bible is crystal clear about stewardship, and so I go back to Genesis 1, which is when I raised the issue with my students of Earth Day and stewardship, I go to Genesis 1.28, God bless them and said to them, be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the air and every creature that moves in the ground. So the idea of filling the earth and subduing it and ruling over things clearly is pointing to the fact that we as people are not just authorized but commanded to use the earth for our good and for God's glory.

And this is before the fall. Even before the fall, there would have been stewardship of the resources God has given us. And so we're supposed to be actively doing things to develop the resources we have and to use them effectively. That's not a suggestion God gave us.

He said, go and do this. So I think we're commanded to be stewards of the environment. Now, and yeah, when we consider that we've been given the command to subdue it and to use it for our good and for God's glory, is it implied in there, Brian or David, is it implied in there that we have kind of this act of care and concern, whether it be for trees or forests or the ecosystem or for animals? Is that implied in there or is it just like, hey, take it, do whatever you want? Because we buy stuff for our kids and when our kids mistreat the stuff, they get in trouble.

We want them to care for the things that we give them. Is that the same rule that applies to us as Christians or can we pretty much do whatever we want to? I actually bring some students, when I talk about this, one of my classes, we talk about the fact that the first job that God gave to Adam was a garden and the garden is orderly structured designed to bring forth fruit in a way that is sustainable and to be able to provide for those that are in his family and so it's clear that God does not mean this just as a wanton destruction of this, it's a care of it and the idea of a garden actually just demonstrates the fact that it's not also wild. It's not just we let it be whatever it needs to be. We step back and let it go.

We actually need to orderly put it together so I do think so. Yeah, and that's where it's interesting, we're hitting the break, where it's interesting that it is good, it is good, it is good, God creates the garden, it's good, we would say that it's perfect, yet he does leave room for tending the garden, which is interesting. So our interaction with the environment, but when you hear the word environmentalism, we talk stewardship, but eastway into environmentalism, are you thinking purely political or do you maintain a Christian worldview about you and if you do, what does that mean?

How do we live that out in the world that we are in today? This is Steve Noble on Theology Thursday, we'll be right back. Welcome back, it's Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday with our friends at Bob Jones University, BJU Seminary, today with our buddy Dr. Renton Rathbun, who's back in the house. Dr. David Gardangi is here as well as Dr. Brian Vogt and we're talking about stewardship, stewarding the earth, the culture would call that environmentalism, and do we have a place there as Christians, does the Bible speak to that and does it compel us to be active in the conversation about how we steward the environment? I would say yes, I think these fine gentlemen, we would all agree and say yes, but the vast majority of the conservative church, they hear environmentalism or the creation and then they're okay with that, but as soon as you start talking about environmentalism or environmental concerns or pollution or land use, you get into any of that stuff, you really want to set them off, you really want to trigger them, start talking about climate change. I believe in climate change, want to know why, because the climate changes, but should we be in the conversation or should we just run from that because that's where Al Gore and AOC and all those guys hang out. So that's why we're talking about this conversation, we'll finish up the theological side of it in this segment. And then in the second half of the show, we're actually going to have two students join us that won an incredible prize through Elon Musk and they've actually started an environmental business called Soil Economy and we're going to talk to them, so that's like the practical application of what we're talking about in the first half of the show.

But gentlemen, again, thanks for being here. And I know, Brian, you kind of wanted to revisit the Earth Day question and when Earth Day comes up next April, should we as Christians be engaged in that at all or should we do like lepers unclean, unclean and stay on the other side of the street? So in one of my freshman level classes, on the very first day of class, I throw an Earth Day graphic up on the screen and I asked the class, so how many of you have heard negative comments about Earth Day in your church or whatever circumstances and the hands go up? Sure.

What kind of things have you heard? In discussing this with them, of course, the idea of worshipping the creature more than the creator comes up and the reality is there are people who do that, but that doesn't take believers off the hook for environmental stewardship. So we use terminology like tree hugger and that can be used as a pejorative term.

To some people it's a positive, to some people it's a negative. I happen to love trees, literally. We live in seven acres of land and traveler's rest that's heavily wooded and I love the trees. I have actually on campus to illustrate the point, I've actually gone outside a few times and hugged an oak tree.

And you still have a job. I do. I'm not sure why. But the reality is we should not cede territory to the unbeliever when it comes to stewardship of our resources. We may disagree about the extent to which climate change is caused by people. That's really what we're talking about when we talk about this kind of thing and that turns out to be not such a simple topic. But it is important for us to think in terms of what God has tasked us to do. And once again, that was before the fall that command was given. We would have been doing it then when the earth was wonderful.

We still would have been environmental stewards. Yeah, that's the amazing thing about it is, and I think this is a missed opportunity. We were talking about that on the break, that it's a missed opportunity because the world is talking about it. A lot of people outside of the church are talking about it. And I think most Christians don't spend much time considering, and they understand you'd start talking about Genesis and their creation mandate, yeah, I got that.

But they don't translate it over into the practical world and the conversation that's happening. And I think it's an awesome opportunity for us to get in there, have the conversation, show great concern for the planet because of who made it. And then that also, I think, gives us a ground for gospel and talking about the future of the planet and what we're going to enjoy as Christians in a perfected heavens and earth.

And I think it's just a great opportunity that largely we're missing out on. Renton, at the Institute for Biblical Worldview, is environmentalism a part of the conversation? Well, I think it is in that we have found one of the pitfalls that the church has slipped into is what I call Americana Christianity, where being a good Christian is being a good Republican. And obviously, there's nothing wrong with being a Republican, but if that is our standard for Christianity, then our theological lines start being colored by our political activism. And if that's the case, then we're really losing our understanding of a biblical worldview. We're starting to take on a Republican worldview. And at times, those things are together, but at times, they're a part. I would hope that a biblical worldview would tell you that abortion is wrong no matter what, not that in cases of rape and incest, then it's okay to murder a baby.

But I would also would hope that just because the world, and if I put it this way, the Democrats have grabbed a hold of environmentalism in the way they define it, we then just decide to do whatever they say not to do. And so now we're good Christians. A good Christian is going to sometimes make a Republican angry, and it's most of the time going to make a Democrat angry. And we have to stick to what Scripture is clear about. And what is clear about is this dominion work is about ordering what God has made.

And after the fall, you see that the ordering is going to be even harder. It's going to be by the sweat of our brow that we try to order the place, not try to dominate the place to serve me, but to order it so that it flourishes. And that's pleasing to God. And it's what Adam was tasked to do at the very beginning. And so that's why we should be thinking about this.

Yeah. And one of the things when I took a whole semester class when I was working on my master's degree on this topic, and one of the books that we read that just kind of reordered my thinking and engagement of it and heart for it was Francis Schaeffer's 1970 Pollution and the Death of Man. And the main quote out of that book is, loving the lover who has made it, I have respect for the thing he has made. And that's an easy, it's a really easy place to start that God has created all the things that we see on this earth. And because he's the creator of all those things, we should care for all those things.

And when those things are misused or abused, that should grieve our hearts because it certainly grieves the heart of God. So in just a couple of minutes, we got about a minute and a half, either David or Brian, what areas does this take us into if we're going to have a comprehensive worldview when it comes to stewardship and environmentalism? What kind of topic should we be talking about? Some of the obvious ones are just pollution. I mean, I actually have students work through just trying to look at what are the pollutions that are out there and just trying to have them, trying to engage with what we know about them, how bad they are, can they, what are the kind of ways we can handle them?

And are we getting better at doing it? And just to give them, open up their eyes to what it looks, what the actual problems that exist in our world today are so they can, because when we, as Christians, and we want to make wise decisions and with informed decisions, we need to know the world we live in. I think there's, we tend to, as sometimes these conservative or Christians can be blind to those because those are, like you were, as Renton was saying, there are a different political, so that's not our job to talk about.

We're going to steer away from them. And so just try to open it in their eyes to knowing what exists out there. Yeah, I mean, and pollution is an easy one. And even getting into the conversation about climate change, land use, zoning, there's all kinds of places you can go.

The safety involved, like when we have an oil tanker that has a problem and releases millions and millions of gallons of oil into the ocean. Should that break our heart? Yeah, absolutely.

We'll be right back. All right, here's an interesting question. What does Bob Jones University and Elon Musk have in common? I mean, most of us would say absolutely nothing. I mean, at least we're on the same planet. And the assumption is that Elon Musk is a human being, a homo sapien. And I think most of the people at Bob Jones University are also human beings.

But that's about it. About a couple of, just last year, it's November 10th, 2021, a story in BJU Today. I actually talked to Steve Pettit about it before. Who's the president of Bob Jones University X Prize and Musk Foundation select BJU team as one of five winners in an MRV competition. Then you start reading about this. And you would not expect Bob Jones is the next in the school, but you wouldn't think there'd be a lot of crossover there with Elon Musk and his foundation when it comes to environmental ism, especially. One, and it's an incredible story. And I was shocked by it when Steve Pettit shared it with me.

But two guys that were ahead of that are Joe Simpson and Reagan. Is it Riddle or Riddell? It's Riddell. So we've got Joe Simpson and Reagan Riddell in the studio with Renton Rathbun and you guys got involved with that and won it. So welcome to the show. It's great to have you guys in here.

Thanks for bringing the average age down. So, tell me about just your kind of engagement and deciding to get into this to go for the X Prize, but to do it utilizing an entrepreneurial idea that dealt with the environment. How did that get started? What was the genesis?

Yeah. Well, it all began with a class that one of the engineering faculty wanted to put together, Dr. Lovegrove, and it was a class called global challenges. And the whole idea of the class was an interdisciplinary team that would compete in different global challenges. And so the global challenge he chose for our year, which was the introductory year for the class, was the X Prize carbon removal challenge. And so different faculty members got involved in the engineering, Dr. Vote in the science department and then one of the marketing professors, Dr. Dunn, and they essentially recruited individual students for this project. So there was originally a team of seven of us and we competed in a competition in the category of MRV, which is not the carbon removal, but the measurement of the carbon removal technology. And we won $100,000 and we started a business and we're not stopping there.

Yeah. And we're going to talk about that, but Reagan, was this kind of a stretch for you guys? Because I know you're both entrepreneurial. I was looking into you and I took contact with the FBI and all that good stuff. But what was the environmental aspect of it?

Was that kind of a curve ball? Did you approach this as, hey, well, we're entrepreneurial guys, so we're going to look at trying to make a business opportunity out of that? Or what was the marriage like between your entrepreneurial background and all of a sudden you're talking about carbons and the environment? Well, I'm glad we both started with the same place, which was when they asked me to be a part of the show, I took the background check too. So I was like, we start with the same steps.

Better safe than sorry, my friends, we're safe than sorry. So in terms of how the environment applies to it, that's something that's pretty new to do in myself. We never really had to deal with that directly in a business aspect like this. I think it's something pretty new to the university as well because of this, because we haven't really had to deal with it extensively in terms of how it applies to even our worldview or how it applies to our business worldview too, which is, to what degree are we allowed to make money off of something that is as decisive and polarizing as the environment, which the context that we took from that, which is it is an opportunity for us to provide something valuable to people so you can still identify problems no matter how you think about them on which side of the issue that you run, you can still identify a need that people want something or need something and we can provide it to them. And what kind of reaction did you guys get from family and friends, from friends both inside the BJU world and people outside the world of Bob Jones University in terms of the fact that you were dealing with what most of us would call some kind of an environmental business? Absolutely everything.

Every point in the spectrum you can imagine. How much negative or confusion did you encounter? I think Ray and I both tend to run in the more conservative circles. So when we were introducing this idea and this project that we're working on, there was a lot of confusion and a lot of head turning and wondering like, what are you guys doing? Have you guys accepted the climate change agenda? And for Reagan and I, we're in a really great spot because we provide technology and we're not a company that goes and does a lot of activism. We don't do politics.

We create technology. So we're certainly in a controversial space, but at the same time, we're in a great position to not necessarily have to make all of our opinions known on the subject and could still comfortably move around. Yeah, which I think in many ways, Musk is actually a pretty good example of that.

You don't always know what cards he's holding. And just like right now, I think he tweeted out earlier today that he's getting attacked from both sides and that's a good sign. So I would agree with that. For us as Christians, Renton, you were just talking about that. One of the things that's been a regular part of my media life since 2007, it's easy for me to upset people on the left.

I regularly upset people on the right because I'm willing to hold a standard that's above the Republican standard. And this is one of those issues, the environment. Did you guys find yourselves having to kind of shore up your own theology on environmentalism in order to go into this, or is that still kind of two different worlds? I don't think we necessarily had to sell ourselves out to any degree. Kind of going back to what you just asked about, I mean, Joe and I were both from fantastic families. So both of our parents were incredibly supportive.

A lot of our friends and everybody else that we talked to at the university were very helpful in this entire process. But in terms of how that applies to us personally, I wouldn't say for myself and for Joe that we necessarily had to take what we thought was true and bury it in the backyard to go along with this at all. Yeah, which is the whole point, that we can engage in this arena. And I appreciate you guys saying, hey, we can go in there. We can find a need. We can make money. We can satisfy the need of the marketplace. There's an opportunity there. And what I love about this story is it takes Christians with a solid worldview and a gospel perspective into areas where a lot of other Christians would say, well, no.

What are you doing getting into the environmental business? You have to sell your soul to do that. No, you don't. That's ridiculous. And that's a great example, which I think people my age need to learn more about what people your age are doing because you can get in there. We were joking earlier. Our oldest son is 27. He lives in San Francisco, of all places. No, he's not gay. And he works for EA Games. He's a game designer.

He's all about video games. And he's got an incredible opportunity. There's not a whole lot of biblical followers of Jesus Christ that are gospel-centered people in that industry. And I think we need to go in there. And the same thing with an environmental opportunity because, like you ran into with friends and family and other people inside and outside the university, a lot of people were confused by that. I think confusion can be a great opportunity for us. Absolutely. It really has been an opportunity.

There is absolutely no one that we work with on a regular basis in the environmental space or in a lot of the technologies we're doing that is conservative. And so that gives us just a massive opportunity to say, yep, we're from Bob Jones. You guys know Bob Jones, and here's what we're doing.

And that really causes a lot of perspective shift, not only for the university, but also for what the university stands for, which is a strong biblical worldview. Yeah, so set up a little bit about the business itself, Soil Economy, the website for everybody to check out, Soileconomy.com is the website, Soileconomy.com. But just set up a little bit, what's the point of the business? What's the product? What's the service?

And then when we come back from the break, I want to talk about some of those interactions you're having in the business world as people coming from Bob Jones University. But set the business up first. So we need to start with this thing called a carbon credit. Basically a carbon credit is pretty much a tradeable certificate, like a stock or a bond that you would have from a company that represents the right of any kind of corporate entity or individual or government to offset one ton of carbon or another greenhouse gas. So there are a bunch of different registries and organizations that produce these certificates because it's a way for something like a power plant to offset any kind of negative carbon emission and they pay a price to someone in the agriculture industry, which is what Soil Economy focuses on. So they can continue their operations and have that emission offset somewhere else.

But to have that credit produced, you have to verify it with technology that Soil Economy produces this MRV category. So it measures reports and verifies the amount of carbon that's being offset by the credit. So that's utilized because it's pretty small, right?

I remember seeing it on the website. It's a fairly small device. So that's utilized at a physical location to see what kind of carbon footprint that particular location, business, factory, whatever it is, actually is creating.

Is that right? It's really focused on quantifying the amount of carbon stored. So there's lots of projects you can do. Somebody can do a forestry project and plant trees and as these trees grow, they absorb more carbon. And if you can quantify that amount, then you're granted a certain amount of certificate of carbon credits based off of the amount of carbon you stored. And that's essentially the same thing it is for us for agriculture. Our sensor system and the technology we've developed quantifies the amount of carbon being stored on that land during the duration of that carbon project.

And with that quantification, they can then use that and take that to the registry to show them how much they've stored and then that can be sold in the form of carbon credits. Got it. And this is not just an American conversation. This is international, correct? Yes. Yes. So now we have this opportunity with something like Soil Economy to have conversations with people around the world, primarily about the business and the product and the service itself.

But you never know what kind of doors the Lord is going to open up. This is Steve Noble on Theology Thursday. We'll continue to talk about the practical application of stewarding the earth. We'll be right back. Welcome back.

It's Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show. Given the fact that Joe Simpson and Regan Riddell are with us, they're students. Are you guys both seniors at Bob Jones University?

Senioritis, is that setting in yet? Are you like done? I'm almost there. I've only got about six weeks left at the university, so absolutely. That's awesome.

How about you, Joe? I've still got a little ways to go. I'm finishing a little bit early in three years, so it hasn't quite hit me. I don't have that extra year to really drag it out, which was pretty nice. Yeah, that's great.

Well, congratulations to both of you. This is really a great story of Christians, young Christians getting involved in the business world out there and even in the world of environmentalism and seeing an opportunity and getting out there in this contest. That was the X Prize, which was massive with the Elon Musk Foundation.

They were competing. There were five schools there, including Penn State and Stanford, and little old Bob Jones University took home the prize in $100,000, and that's just... hats off to you guys. It's just awesome. Renton Rathman, of course, is here with us. So Renton, as somebody that's there on the faculty, and then I want to talk more about soil economy and what your guys' future looks like, isn't this kind of the point that you have these two young men here that are strong in their worldview? They have a gospel heart, yet they're engaging the world at the highest levels possible. Isn't that really the purpose of Bob Jones University?

Shouldn't that be the call on all of us? Yeah, I think... and this is the terminology. What you said was exactly right. There's this sense in which there are some Christian universities out there that seek to redeem the culture and try to find every ounce of it to make it Christian, but I think what we're doing is we're engaging the culture, and we are wanting to bring with us our biblical worldview, with us into the culture.

There's going to be clashes, but then there's going to be times where we're able to demonstrate a testimony of God, and I really see what that... that's what these two guys really have done. And if you don't mind, I have a question for them if you... No, knock yourself out. Okay. Not that I'm trying to take over the show. No, help yourself. I'll just go down the hall and get a glass of water. It's fine. Go ahead.

That'd be great. My question to you guys is, as you're starting to put your foot in the water of business and you're really getting out there and doing things, is there anything from your classes that has especially helped you as you face the world this way with a biblical worldview? Is there anything that was said in class or anything you remember from your classes that has been helpful to you?

Go ahead. I can't think of a specific term or a quote from a professor or anything like that. The first thing that my mind started going to when you started asking the question is just the relationships that we have with our professors in general, maybe not necessarily specific thing that they've told us or that we've read any kind of course material, but even the opportunity to be a part of this to begin with was offered to us through one of our professors that we had a relationship with. Just being able to have good interactions and develop friendships with your professors and get to know them and have them get to know you has been an incredibly transformative part of this entire process.

I can think of a particular class. It was apologetics and worldview I had with Dr. Cook. The way the BJU curriculum works for the Bible teaching is you begin with the New Testament and Old Testament and the interpretation of those and then you go through the fundamentals of a Bible doctrine through two classes and then the capstone class is apologetics and worldview. This was such a fundamental class for me because a lot of these principles I had heard before I had been taught these by my parents who have always tried to instill a biblical worldview in me.

One thing that I just really caught on and really just continue to believe so much stronger was the idea that we always have the truth on our side. I think a lot of Christians feel strongly in the category of theology. They're like, yes, we have the theology, but they become very timid when it comes to supporting the biblical worldview from science or from history or from any category. But that particular class, just the different things that were taught, the truth that was shared, the history that was looked at, the science that was explored, everything just astronomically and overwhelmingly supports the biblical worldview. I don't just think that being a Christian is the best thing. I think it's the only thing. It's the only thing that logically, scientifically, and historically makes sense.

That's just been incredible to have that kind of support from university. Yeah, and I think that kind of goes to that, do we have an inferiority complex? We're certainly not called to have a superiority complex, but we do know we have the superior position because we are in possession, like you said, Joe, of the truth, capital T truth. There's a bunch of little t truths all over the place. We actually know the capital T truth, which will lead you down the right road and whatever arena you choose to go into and that's a really empowering thing to know that when you look at this whole crazy world we're in, to know that Joe and Reagan and Renton and Steve, we're all in possession of the ultimate truth, which gives us the hand up and it also calls us to engage the culture because they're lost largely.

They don't know the truth and we're the ambassadors of truth. So what a great call. So what's next for you guys? Have you officially launched a soil economy?

Have you landed your first contract? What's next for you guys? What's the future hold? So soil economy LLC was incorporated in the state of South Carolina in February of this year and ever since then we have been pretty aggressively searching for funding primarily through grants such as offered through the US Department of Agriculture. So we're currently in the prototyping phase right now and then trying to get grants and all kinds of funding to actually bring our product to market, hopefully in the next 18 months. One company that we've really worked with and been very involved with is the South Carolina Research Authorities and they're an incredible partner because their whole focus as a company is to essentially give a startup everything they need to succeed. So access to investment funding, investment opportunities for grants, partnerships, connections with academia and with just so many different networks. And so through a lot of their pushing and opportunities they've given us, we've developed an official partnership with Clemson. We're working with an engineering firm up in North Carolina, Innovation Design Partners. And we have just been able to talk to everybody from chief scientific officers at big soil health companies to Harvard professors.

And so that has really helped us to gain confidence in what we're doing and then really just give us the motivation to continue with this project and to not just have it a project but to continue it as a successful business. What's the competition like in this arena? The MRE market itself is still very emerging. Even in the bigger context of the carbon market and the climate change and everything, it hasn't really been around for that long and nobody really talked about it before the 1990s.

So we're kind of lucky that we're still in kind of the first few stages of it. So the competition itself is very, very low right now. We haven't really had any kind of direct contact with any other company that is doing exactly what we're doing. Obviously, there's other companies that produce technology. There's other companies that produce technology that can test the soil or something like that. But in terms of what we're doing, we haven't really experienced any kind of direct competition. Is the technology you guys came up with, is that a proprietary issue?

I mean, can you get that protected? Absolutely. And we've taken many steps to do that already. As we continue to develop the sensor, we've finished our fourth prototype we're currently working on really extending the capacity and certain capabilities of our sensor with the innovation design partners up in North Carolina. But it will continue to become more proprietary and open up opportunities, not just for one patent but multiple patents.

Yeah, that's so exciting. Any other things on the horizon for you guys either as business partners or individually, any other areas of business you really want to be a pursuit or is this kind of, you're going to stick to this for the next three or five years and then sell it and then help rent in with his wardrobe? You know, Joe and I both see this as an opportunity. So we don't necessarily have a set timeline or necessarily a goal that we're like, you know, we're going to get to this point and then we're out. We see it as an opportunity, which could, I mean, it's an open door, which could lead to another open door. We can't predict the future, obviously, we're very thankful to God and grateful for everybody else that's influenced us in this direction and helped with this. But it's an opportunity and we don't really know what's going to happen next with it. I mean, we could be millionaires tomorrow, we could still be broke tomorrow, so it's an opportunity that could lead to another business and we don't really know, but we're looking for those opportunities every day where we're constantly trying to work and make this as successful as we can. Right.

Joe. Ray and I both have different long term goals. My long term goals are really to use business as missions overseas, whether that's in Europe or in certain Asian countries. And we see this as a great opportunity to get there.

There's not a lot of people that are our age that have already had the opportunities we've had and certainly use those opportunities to develop something like what soil economy has become. Will we ever make enough money to help Dr. Rathbun with his wardrobe? That's to be determined. But our goal is to certainly pursue this as long as it makes sense. And I'm sure pursue other ventures in the future.

Yeah, that's cool. In all fairness, it won't take a whole lot of money to fix that situation, but... Joseph A. Beck, that's all there enough. You go, baby.

That's not too bad. Renzen, what are your final thoughts? I mean, I just want to encourage you guys, as a father of four, as a 56-year-old Christian, that's pretty involved in the world. It's really encouraging to me to see your story, to hear you communicate, to hear your expertise in that, your passion, and where you're going. It's really an encouragement to me. So God bless you guys for that.

But Renzen, final thought, and then we're done. Yeah. Well, what I think this is a good example of is what we're trying to do, not just at Bob Jones University, but in the church, and it's a larger idea, that we can see young people getting involved in the world, holding on to their understanding of their God and their scripture, and not having to apologize for it, but also not having to be a jerk about it. Right. And seeing how engagement really works, as opposed to protest and anger and all that stuff.

True as a viper, and gentle as a dove. Amen. That's what we're called to, which is great. Renzen, thanks so much for being here today, Joe and Reagan. God bless you guys. We're excited to see your future. This is Steve Noble on the Steve Noble Show. God willing, we'll talk again real soon, and like my dad always used to say, ever forward.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-09 01:55:13 / 2022-11-09 02:04:31 / 9

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