Building Extension Capacity in the North Central Region to Address Agricultural Energy Use

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2009: $74,919.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Scott Sanford
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: canola, corn, potatoes, soybeans, sugarbeets, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animals: bovine, swine
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Education and Training: extension, workshop
  • Energy: energy conservation/efficiency, energy use
  • Production Systems: holistic management


    This project combined the expertise of five universities to deliver two sets of webinars on energy efficiency related topics for a total of 24 webinars. The topics included grain drying, greenhouse efficiency, heating with biomass, irrigation water management, irrigation system testing, dairy farm energy efficiency, lighting systems, animal housing (ventilation), anaerobic digestion, and introduction to life cycle analysis of milk production. There were 233 people that registered for at least one webinar but the average was 2.5 webinars per individual. Based on pre and post webinar surveys, participant’s knowledge increased 80% from attending the webinars. Presentations and recordings of the webinars are available at under Farm Energy.

    Project objectives:

    • The key audience is educators with an agricultural energy interest associated with Extension, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, and non-government organizations. Agricultural Producers (through programs delivered by trained agricultural educators) are the secondary target audience.

      The target is to reach 10 Agricultural Educator per state or 120 educators across the NC Region.

      Develop PowerPoint presentations and supporting materials for crop production, animal housing, greenhouses, irrigation and grain drying. Deliver train the trainer sessions using distance education technology (webinars). Post videos of the presentations and supporting documents on

      Deliver “coffee break workshops” to agricultural producers via distance education technology.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.