IEE participates in the anniversary celebration for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (75 years) and the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (70 years)

3 Nov 2010

IEE participates in the anniversary celebration for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (75 years) and the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (70 years)

8:00pm

Green Mountain College, Poutney, VT

The IEE was honored to participate in the anniversary celebration for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (75 years) and the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (70 years). Attendees came from all over Vermont to hear panel discussions on various agricultural topics and also to celebrate years of progress in Vermont and the United States as a whole. The IEE's 'Agricultural Energy Independence' team member, Carey Rosser, presented on the "Energy Panel." Carey provided an overview of energy efficiency and renewable energy options that are available to farmers in Vermont. See http://www.agenergysolutions.org. Additionally, she provided guidance on sources of financial aid for energy improvements. The participants asked questions and highlighted the technical difficulty of constructing and maintaining large renewable energy structures such as anaerobic digesters. Especially for smaller-scale (less than 500 heads) dairy or cattle farmers typical to Vermont, maintaining an effective anaerobic digester can be difficult. Although a communal digester or a coop model would help accumulate sufficient manure, raw manure is not easily--or efficiently--transported. Unfortunately, financial limitations (both in terms of up-front and maintenance cost) make anaerobic digestion very difficult for small farmers, who would, in most instances, be better served using the manure directly as fertilizer, etc. On the bright side, as highlighted by fellow panelist Steve Letendre, solar is a viable option for a large portion of vermont. When considering solar, be certain to check out government and utility-specific financial incentives (see DSIRE) and remember that Vermont allows for Net-Metering and Group Net-Metering (see Vermont Public Service Board).

Questions? Concerns? Contact Jennifer Thomas at jthomas@vermontlaw.edu