Farm Energy Conservation for Livestock Producers

Jay Harmon, Professor & Livestock Housing Specialist, Ag & Biosystems Engineering

Fiscal Year Submitted:

Supports Plan of Work Number:
160 Natural Resources and Stewardship

Title of Success Story:
Farm Energy Conservation for Livestock Producers

As energy prices escalate, energy conservation has become a concern for livestock and poultry producers. While energy educational materials were plentiful in the 70’s due to reactions from the energy crisis, they are dated and many times unavailable now. 


Grant funding from the Iowa Energy Center was secured to improve energy conservation educational resources for the agricultural sector.  The effort included writing short fact sheets and producing a webinar to help train Extension and energy company personnel.  Slide sets were produced for each fact sheet to be utilized in appropriate educational settings.  In addition, energy related educational sessions were delivered to other audiences through talks and ventilation workshops.  Further development of ventilation workshops is underway with the securing of funding to develop a new training trailer.

Output Statement:
To date, a total of seven energy fact sheets have been produced.  Listed below are the fact sheets I have helped to co-author and the number downloaded as of mid July.  Actual impact is difficult to gauge.

The webinar training had a total attendance of 51 participants with approximately half the attendees representing ISU Extension and half representing external partners (companies, rural electric cooperatives, or state organizations).

Additional energy talks included an invited presentation in Colorado to approximately 150 representatives of most of the large swine production companies in the country and a grower seminar in southern Minnesota for 50 people.  Impact is difficult to assess since no follow-up survey was conducted.

Comparing the results of the pre-test and post-test evaluations from webinar participants showed a gain in knowledge/awareness in the following areas:

Post-test evaluation results also indicated behavioral changes. After learning about the availability of the Farm Energy publications, most respondents plan to refer colleagues and customers to the publications. In addition, when asked if they plan to participate in future webinars, every respondent selected “yes” or “maybe” (the third option was “no”). Ongoing evaluation will continue to measure behavior and attitude change outcomes among webinar participants.


160 Natural Resources and Stewardship

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