Engaging KCES in Reducing Energy Use in Kentucky Agriculture

  • Fehr, Robert (PI)
  • Overhults, Douglas (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has historically provided agricultural producers with researched based information to enhance their production efficiency. Given that the cost of energy represented only 6% of the direct cost of production while a consideration, energy utilization was not a focus. As energy costs increase producers have limited methods to pass on those costs. As a result the level of interest in reducing energy consumption has increased. In addition, advances in the use of agricultural products as energy sources have increased the interest of producers in the development of their own energy sources. Kentucky agricultural producers need a method to determining their current energy consumption and evaluating options to reduce their external energy consumption incl uding the incorporation of renewable energy resources. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of2002 (2002 Act) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program under Title IX, Section 9006 created a program to make loans, loan guarantees, and grants to "a farmer, rancher, or rural small business" to purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. While this program is available to date few Kentucky agricultural producers have been able to take advantage of the program, in part due to the application process. To take advantage of this opportunity agricultural produces must be provided guidance on the application process. On a national level there is a renewed interest in energy conservation and alternative energy sources for agricultural. For example, this fall in Des Moines, Iowa, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy will host its inaugural Forum on Energy Efficiency in Agriculture -- a two day conference bringing together both the energy and agriculture communities for a dialogue addressing the promotion of energy-efficient technologies in this most crucial of American industries. The Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is uniquely positioned to not only develop but also deliver a program directed at aiding agricultural producers and rural clientele in dealing with energy options. With Extension agents in all 120 counties in the state the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service can determine what agricultural producers information needs are. Once those needs have been determined, Extension Specialists at the University of Kentucky can develop the information resources needed to respond to those needs. Once the information resources are developed the agents can deliver them in a manor that best meets their particular clientele needs. This project will insure that renewable energy resources will be included in the information provided.
Effective start/end date10/1/053/31/07


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