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The Power of On-Farm Sustainable Energy

The Farm Energy Field Days are back! This year, our series features wind, solar, and biomass as renewable energy solutions to on-farm energy needs.

This new series of farmer-led tours will give you a first-hand look at what it takes to integrate renewable energy technologies into your farm or homestead. From a wind driven dairy to solar rooftops to tractors running on sunflower oil, find out how farmers are innovating to turn their farm into an energy producer! You’ll learn how to assess your own energy use, explore your renewable energy options, seek financing and grants, and work with technical experts. This is your opportunity to get “How to” information, view customized equipment on the farm, and network with other energy enthusiasts. All field days are free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided. Sponsored by Northeast SARE and the Cornell Small Farms Program. To learn about NE SARE funding opportunities, visit For more sustainable farm energy resources, visit

Region: Central NY, Onondaga County
Address: Larry Doody & Sons LLC, 1626 Barker Street, Tully 13159

September 20, 2013. 10 am – noon. Milking Energy from the Wind.  Larry Doody & Sons LLC will showcase their 900 acre dairy farm in Onondaga County that is utilizing an Endurance E-3120 Wind Turbine to produce power for their farm.  Owners Ed, Kevin and Rich Doody, milk 330 head of Holstein cows twice a day.  Since installation in September of 2012, this 140ft wind turbine has produced over 136,000 kW of power and is now powering all farm buildings, as well as the farmhouse. The installers of the system, Cazenovia Equipment Company (CEC Energy), will join us for the event to share their technical expertise. If you have an interest in the production potential of wind energy, this field day is for you! Free and open to the public! Refreshments will be provided. Event co-hosted by Erin Hull, CCE Onondaga County. Map. Pre-registration preferred here or email Ryan Maher, Walk-ins welcome!

Region: Central NY, Cortland County
Address:  Songwood Meadows, 7375 Song Lake Road, Tully, NY 13159

September 27, 2013. 2 pm – 4 pm. Making Farm Fibers with Energy from the Sun. Ken and Deb Brock of Songwood Meadows in Preble, NY will give us a tour of their 39-acre farm and their recently installed PV solar system.  Ken and Deb raise both Angora Goats and Katahdin sheep. Deb uses the fiber from the Angora goats to produce mohair based products, including yarns, roving, various styles of socks and fleeces. They will share how an enlightening energy audit of the operation and educational workshops helped foster their personal commitment to renewable energy. In April 2012, they installed an 8.925 Kw PV solar array to provide cost effective energy to the barn, but it also supplies the home and other aspects of the farm business.  It can produce over 9,500 Kwh per year, which equates to about $1,500 per year in electricity.  They invested in a new barn to support the roof mounted solar array and to solve their animal housing and equipment storage needs. The Brock’s credit the unique abilities of their contractor for the success of the project. Meet and talk with the contractor! This tour is perfect for small farmers interested in harnessing solar energy for their farms! Free and open to the public! Refreshments will be provided. Event co-hosted by Amanda Barber, SWCD Cortland County. Map. Pre-registration preferred here or email Ryan Maher, Walk-ins welcome!

Region: Finger Lakes, Tompkins County
Address: Dedrick Farms, 389 Buck Rd off of Rt. 34, Lansing, NY 14882

October 4, 2013. 10 am – noon. Using Residual Biomass to Fuel the Farm.  Matt Dedrick will give a demonstration of converting non-saleable farm residues from his 400 acre field crop and vegetable farm into fuel for heating and transportation. His major crops are sunflowers, corn, and soybeans, but also smaller amounts of wheat, oats, barley, rye, and alfalfa. Matt uses both a small pelletizer and an oil press. After he separates and cleans his grains, he feeds inferior quality remnants directly into his boiler and pelletizes the stalks and stems.  He uses this fuel to heat the farmhouse and provide domestic hot water year round. The next step is to hook up radiant floor heat that he has already installed in the barn. Matt also makes use of broken kernel sunflower seeds too oily for pellets by feeding them into an oil press and blending this oil with filtered waste motor oil and diesel fuel to run his tractors.  Matt has been developing these methods over the last 4 years and uses both inventiveness and creativity to make the most out of his farm resources. This tour farm will interest anyone thinking about how farm biomass can become an energy supply! Free and open to the public! Refreshments will be provided. Event co-hosted by Betsy Keokosky, Community Biomass Energy. Map . Pre-registration preferred here or email Ryan Maher, Walk-ins welcome!

Region: Central NY, Schoharie County
Address: Schoharie Valley Farms, 5605 State Route 30, Schoharie, NY 12157

October 11, 2013. 10 am – noon. Sourcing Solar: On-Farm Production to Retail. Join proprietor/producer Richard Ball for a tour of one of the premier diversified vegetable farms and retail outlets in the region.  Located off a high volume state highway (SR 30) a short distance from I-88, Schoharie Valley Farms draws consistently heavy customer traffic seeking locally sourced farm products.  Learn how the energy derived from a large solar array installation benefits farm production, processing, cold storage, food service, and retail.  Treat yourself to a marvelous lunch and/or baked goods following the tour. More info on Schoharie Valley Farms at Free and open to the public! Refreshments will be provided. Event co-hosted by David Cox, CCE Schoharie and Otsego Counties. Map. Pre-registration preferred here or email Ryan Maher, Walk-ins welcome!


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