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Farm Energy

Webinar Series Archive:  Sustainable Farm Energy Virtual Tours


No till beds, earth cooled barn & passive solar greenhouse at Four Winds farm in Gardiner, NY

This webinar series (Spring ’14)  consisted of 1 hour lunchtime webinars and virtual tours of farms with sustainable energy designs.

Webinar Series Archive: Sustainable Power for Your Farm or Homestead Webinar Series

This webinar series (Spring ’13) consisted of 1 hour lunchtime webinars and virtual tours of farms with sustainable energy designs.

Farm Energy Field Day Series: 2013 and 2012 Series Information Archive

2012 Field Day Series offered “How-to” information on incorporating solar panels, wind turbines, radiant heat, passive solar and ecological stewardship practices into your farm or homestead.   To read about the Fall 2013 field days, click here. To read about the Fall 2012 field days, click here.

Looking for a “Farm-Friendly” Renewable Energy Installer?

The following installation companies have worked with small farms featured in our sustainable farm energy field day series and have been recommended by the farmers they worked with.

Alternative Power Solutions of New York | Visit Website | Recommended by Cross Island Farm
Hudson Solar | Visit Website  | Recommended by Four Winds Farm

Looking for Farmers who use Renewable Energy on their farms?

Farmers throughout New York state use a multitude of renewable energy technologies and techniques on their farms.  If you are searching for a farmer mentor, speaker or field day host, send a message to and request to view the following contact list:  Farmer Farm Energy Spreadsheet.

Farm Energy Photo Tour

Couldn’t make it out to the 2011 farm energy field day series? Take a virtual tour of the featured farms by viewing the photos essays below.  Sponsored by Northeast SARE.

NY Small Farm Energy Innovators: Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Ideas for Your Farm

As a farmer, chances are you know how to produce food and fiber. But do you know how to produce energy? “Small Farm Energy Innovators” booklet describes how farmers save energy and decide which renewable systems are right for their farm. Profiles detail the cost of installation, any grants or incentives available, amount of energy saved or produced, and where to go for further information. Produced by Northeast SARE. Download in Microsoft Word

Other Resources

Guides and Manuals

  • Collection of Renewable Energy Links and Resources – This document from the U.S. Department of Energy contains resources for basic renewable energy info, energy information specific to your state or region, assistance with creating programs to incentivize sustainable energy, advice on renewable energy permits, information about the energy workforce, and information about renewable energy funding. Download the document here.
  • Guide to Farming Friendly Solar – Solar panels and grazing can go together. This free guide from The UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture tells you how to make it work. This document focuses specifically on solar energy generation that’s designed to be compatible with continued farming, whereby little or no land is taken out of production. The authors offer suggestions on how to achieve balance in preserving the most productive farmland and producing energy.
  • A Farmer’s Guide to Energy Self Reliance: A Guide to Using Energy Efficiency, Biomass, and Renewable Energy on the Farm – The Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School published a guide to help farmers implement energy efficiency measures and to use renewable energy to reduce operating costs, while also decreasing potential negative environmental effects. The guide details energy self-reliance on a farm and potential energy management solutions. Click here to access the guide.
  • Farm Energy Alternatives: ATTRA Resources – ATTRA has compiled a large selection of energy resources. The resources listed focus on areas such as how to make farm buildings more energy efficient, solar energy, wind energy, biofuels, and much more. To access these resources, visit
  • Wood Energy Webinars: Penn State Resource – Learn more about forest energy in the northeast by watching these webinars presented by the Penn State Renewable and Alternative Energy Extension team. Webinar topics include: Green Buildings and Wood EnergyWhy Wood Energy, and Short Rotation Woody Crops in the Northeast. To access the webinars, visit
  • Farm Energy Videos – An extensive library of energy videos focusing on energy conservation, renewable energy and biomass. Mostly based in the midwest/western US, but many are relevant to eastern agriculture, too!  Visit the library.
  • Grit Magazine: Sustainable Energy Publications– Grit Magazine has a selection of books for sale on their website focused on renewable energy, with titles such as Masonry Heaters, Solar Water Heating, Zero Energy Home Guide. To browse the publications or order a copy, visit
  • Energy in the News: Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) presented a report on the food sector’s contribution to energy consumption at the 2011 UN Climate Change Conference. The report discusses how all components of food production can become more ‘energy smart,’ focusing on energy use, energy sources, renewable energy, and sustainable development, among other topics. The report is available in PDF here.
  • Energy in the News: Alternative Energy Innovation – Farming: the Journal of Northeast Agriculture featured an article on the various forms of renewable energy that growers around the northeast are utilizing to power their farms. The article covers such energy sources as wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal heat, biofuels, and anaerobic digesters, as well as the benefits and challenges of using each on a farm. You can access the article in PDF here.
  • Vermont Farm to Plate – Check out some energy success stories detailing how a wide variety of technical assistance providers, renewable energy businesses, and funding sources are helping farmers and other food system businesses install renewable energy systems and become more energy efficient!
  • ConsumerAffairs: Solar Energy Guide – ConsumerAffairs has worked alongside global thought leader and solar expert, Zachary Shahan, to produce a web page that takes you through the financing, ownership, and costs of a solar energy system, and compares different solar energy companies so that you can find one that best fits your needs and expectations.

Organizations in the Northeast

  • Central Vermont Cow Power (CVCP) Program – CVCP is a manure-based, farm-to-consumer energy program. The cow power process involves holding the manure in a sealed concrete tank at a high temperature. Bacteria digest the volatile components, creating methane; this, in conjunction with the high temperatures kills weed seeds and harmful pathogens. Methane gas is extremely harmful as a greenhouse gas, so trapping it and using it as fuel helps to offset global warming effects. Consumers can purchase Cow Power energy at a premium, with almost all of Cow Power energy income going toward the farmers producing it. For more information about this program, visit
  • Renewable Energy Vermont – Renewable Energy Vermont engages in outreach and education about the benefits of renewable energy, holds biannual conferences and tradeshows, publishes a monthly newsletter and provides a resource for Vermont-specific information on renewable energy. Their website contains information about renewable energy technologies and events, among other resources.
  • Efficiency Vermont – Efficiency Vermont offers information on technical assistance and financial incentives to adopting energy-efficient technologies. Learn more about energy-saving farm equipment and more at their website.
  • Connecticut Farm Energy Program – Connecticut Farm Energy Program (CFEP) provides technical assistance to agricultural producers and works to increase awareness about energy conservation & efficiency while promoting alternative and renewable forms of energy on Connecticut Farms. It serves as a resource and clearinghouse for information about on-farm energy opportunities in relation to grant opportunities, financial incentives, loans, audits, educational opportunities and events for AG producers and AG based small business located in Connecticut. It also aims to provide information as it pertains to energy and agriculture in Connecticut through the CFEP website, email updates, publications, workshops and events it hosts and participates in.
  • New York State Energy Development Authority – New York State Energy Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers free or low cost energy assessments, grants and incentives for renewable energy and conversation. Visit their website at .
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation – NYS Department of Environmental Conservation maintains an educational site with resources geared toward learning about financial incentives and green purchasing. Visit the site here.

National Organizations

  • USDA Rural Development – USDA Rural Development offers programs for renewable energy financing, including grants, guaranteed loans and payments. These energy programs offer funding to complete energy audits, provide renewable energy development assistance, make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems. For more information, visit