Wind Power

Farmers Support Wind Energy

A national survey of corn producers, which was conducted by RMA Research of South Dakota for the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF), found a strong level of support among farmers on a range of issues related to the future growth of the U.S. wind industry.

Washington, D.C. – June 25, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “U.S. corn farmers are unified to the tune of 70, 80 or 90 percent on the essential federal and state wind energy policies that are needed to realize the tremendous community-based renewable energy and rural economic development potential that wind energy offers,” Dan McGuire, CEO of the ACGF said. Specific efforts that farmers would like to see in the wind energy market are, but not limited to,: mandatory federal funding levels in the Energy Title of the farm law of at least $23 million for grants and loans to farmers and ranchers to purchase renewable energy systems; wind energy promotion through industry and public institutions; rural electric cooperatives to support and promote wind energy; and the ability to sell electricity from wind turbines to public power districts. The farmers surveyed seemed to agree that public power districts should be required to purchase electric power from farmer-owned wind farms. ACGF Chairman Gale Lush, who is from Nebraska, said, “Nebraska has the sixth largest wind resource in the U.S. so it is time for Nebraska to move ahead at the state level and capture this great opportunity.” The ACGF Wealth From The Wind survey, funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, polled 500 farmers in sixteen top corn-producing states. Farmers who completed the survey had at least one hundred acres of corn. The eight major corn states accounted for 84 percent of the farmers polled and the acreage. Iowa had the largest number of farmers surveyed.