LPG Spotlight: Proctor Gas

December 27, 2021 By    
Proctor Gas Photo courtesy of Judy Taranovich

Judy Taranovich and her son Josh reveal propane’s clean-burning properties. (Photo courtesy of Judy Taranovich)

In 2014, Judy Taranovich, owner of Proctor Gas Inc. in Proctor, Vermont, began to provide annual education sessions at Proctor Elementary School.

The sessions, known as Propane Kids Day, were straightforward at first. Taranovich shared the propanekids.com website and discussed propane with the students, prior to conducting an age-appropriate experiment.

Since then, Taranovich’s sessions have evolved considerably, as she has had students learn about propane in a wide array of innovative ways, from receiving free tethered hot air balloon rides to acquiring information about the makeup of propane through an NAO robot named Pilot.

Taranovich’s goal for the sessions has been awareness.

“I wanted to reach out to the school and let the children know about a local business that supports their community,” she says. “I felt the school was an ideal place to get the word out that propane is a safe, reliable energy partner.”

Focused on ensuring the sessions are fun and interactive, Taranovich discusses the different uses of propane while also providing students scratch-and-sniff flyers and safety information. She’ll also ask students what they believe propane is used for; by the time the students are in sixth grade, having participated in the sessions since kindergarten, they’ll be able to share most of the usages.

Students also receive an item related to the sessions, so they’re reminded of them in the future, while younger students obtain propane coloring and activity books, along with crayons or colored pencils.

“Propanekids.com is also a great resource for the students, as well as the teachers, as they can do more activities than I have time for,” Taranovich says.

The NAO robot teaches children about propane entirely on its own, as it asks and answers questions. In addition, it sings and dances, and encourages students to do the same, leading to a fun, educational environment, as students learn how and why propane is a clean, safe energy source. Bonnie Walker, a software engineer and roboticist who owns FunDaLogic Robotics and works with Propane Resources, provided the robot.

“Knowledge is power. Children are being told all fossil fuels are bad,” Taranovich says. “Silence on our side is agreement. Our voices need to have an equal position on the playing field.”

She continues, “I visit Proctor Elementary School to educate the children, but knowing the teachers are also listening to what I have to say is just as powerful. I love doing a carbon experiment, too – when the teachers see the carbon that comes out of their Yankee candles and then nothing from the propane burner. It’s pretty powerful.”

As Taranovich prepares for the future, she is also interested in teaching high school students – the future generation of potential propane users and advocates – about the positives of propane.

“Now is not the time to put on the brakes in regards to propane education,” she says. “Instead, speak up, speak out and let your voice be heard.”

Company profile

Year founded: 1966
Founders: Match and Ella Taranovich
Owner: Judy Taranovich
Headquarters: Proctor, Vermont
Bobtails: 5
Annual gallon sales: Over 1 million

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