The cost of operating a farm ― from the fuel used to run equipment, to the expense of purchasing seed and fertilizer, to the time required to feed and care for livestock ― has never left much room for error. Coupled with variable prices for agricultural products, it’s no wonder many agricultural producers may end up seeking a secondary source of income.
Now, a series of workshops being sponsored by Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), a not-for-profit power supplier to 11 member-owned electric distribution cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, is offering farmers real-world information on new and emerging technologies available for more energy efficient operations and how to make use of current government programs and lower their energy bills.
The next Farm Efficiency Workshop will be held July 31 at the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center (TAREC) in Suffolk, Virginia. Speakers include:
- Dr. Maria Papadakis, a Professor of Integrated Science & Technology at James Madison University
- Dr. Jay Harmon, a Professor & Extension Ag. Engineer at Iowa State University
- Stephen Versen with the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
- Josh Ludgate of Exact Energy.
David Faulkner and Laurette Tucker with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRSC) will also prepare attendees for undergoing an NRCS audit that can make them eligible for federal grant funding to implement efficiency projects.
“This workshop is designed to help Virginia’s farmers, many whom live in rural areas served by electric cooperatives, learn about resources that will help them upgrade their farm’s overall energy efficiency,” said Erin Puryear, Manager of Member Services and Energy Innovation Planning for ODEC.
The free workshop will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with lunch provided. To register, call Deborah A. B. Estienne at (757) 657-6450, ext. 402 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by July 29, 2013.