Energy consultant Mike Twedt (left), who frequently works with Sioux Valley Energy on commercial energy audits, discusses efficiency with a local farmer.
Photo credit: Sioux Valley Energy
By Derrill Holly | Excerpted from an article published on ECT.coop.
A co-op that serves consumer-members in two states is working with state cooperative extension service experts to help farmers run their operations more efficiently.
Marketing specialists of Sioux Valley Energy, based in Colman, S.D., are working with several agencies on seminars and other programs designed to help consumer-members learn more about energy conservation, renewable energy options and other technology that could help them on their farms and ranches in Minnesota and South Dakota.
A seminar for dairy farmers, for example, included a walk-thru energy audit at a dairy farm on the Brookings campus of South Dakota State University.
"So much of the financial focus has always been on nutrition and reproduction, but farmers can see real savings if they can reduce their energy costs by making their facilities more efficient," says said Carrie Law, the co-op’s director of communications and government relations.
Participating farmers have been able to learn more about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program, which offers guaranteed loans to agricultural producers for renewable energy systems.