Extension News

Task Force to Boost Farm Energy Conservation and Efficiency Efforts in Iowa

farm energy conservation and efficiency task force

10/6/2009

AMES, Iowa -- A new task force is coordinating efforts across the state to increase energy conservation and efficiency efforts on Iowa farms. It met for the first time Oct. 6 at the Iowa State University campus in Ames.

The task force will be overseeing the new statewide Farm Energy Conservation and Efficiency educational initiative. The purpose is to increase farmers’ awareness of opportunities for improving efficient use of farm energy. The initiative also will help farmers explore alternatives to reduce farm energy demand and to improve their farms’ overall profitability in a rapidly changing energy environment.

Iowa State University Extension received a grant from the Iowa Energy Center to carry out the initiative. Extension and the Iowa Energy Center are cooperating with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO), the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, Consumers Energy, Alliant Energy, MidAmerican Energy, Office of Energy Independence and USDA in the effort.

According to Paul Brown, assistant director of ISU Extension to Agriculture and Natural Resources, the energy industry has developed all kinds of materials to help homeowners and manufacturers adopt energy conservation and efficiency measures. But similar materials for agriculture are rare. As part of the initiative, ISU Extension will be creating a “new generation” of educational materials to fill this gap. Targeted to livestock and crop producers, the materials will build awareness about all aspects of energy use on the farm and boost farmers’ “energy literacy.”

The goal is to help Iowa’s agricultural producers make better decisions about managing energy inputs in the farm business and make choices that are sustainable long-term and good for their farm’s bottom line, Brown said.

As the new educational materials become available, ISU Extension will share them with extension specialists, energy sector personnel and other interested parties who work with farmer clients, added ISU Extension program coordinator Jane Flammang.

For more information, contact Flammang at jflamm@iastate.edu.

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Contacts :

Paul Brown, Extension to Agriculture and Natural Resources, (515) 294-7801, pwbrown@iastate.edu

Jane Flammang, Farm Energy Conservation and Efficiency Initiative,  jflamm@iastate.edu

Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, lsternwe@iastate.edu

 

Task Force (high resolution photo)

Caption: Members of the Farm Energy Conservation and Efficiency Initiative Task Force include (from left to right) David Warrington, Alliant Energy; Jay Harmon and Gerald Miller, Iowa State University; Kent Mowrer, Alliant Energy; Paul Brown, Iowa State University; Claudia Smith, Central Iowa Power Cooperative; Mark Hanna, Iowa State University; Reggie Goodale, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives; Dave Stineman, Consumers Energy; Richard Walker, MidAmerican Energy; Bill Haman, Iowa Energy Center; Jane Flammang, Iowa State University; Kevin Nordmeyer, Iowa Energy Center; and Denny Harding, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. Members not pictured include Teresa Bomhoff, USDA Rural Development, and Bob Mulqueen, Office of Energy Independence.