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

2011 Annual Report for ENC09-110

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

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


A professional development series of 13 webinars for farm enterprise Energy Efficiency was held in May/June 2011 for extension and other educators in the North Central Region. Enterprises covered included dairy farms, greenhouses, irrigation, animal housing and grain drying. It was attended by educators from 10 states with an average of 15 participants per session. Presentation videos are available at eXtension Farm Energy page. The participation was much lower than anticipated possibly due to the time of year when the programs were presented. Some of the programs will be repeated in November / December of 2012 to try to get increased participation.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The project has delivered curricula to educators and presentation videos have been uploaded to the eXtension Farm Energy page. Presentation materials (presentation slide, speaker notes, presenter bios and slide handouts) are being prepared and will be up-loaded shortly. Evaluations from webinar series have been summarized to access the degree knowledge and understanding provided by the webinars. Three producer webinars were scheduled in early April on grain drying, field operations and agricultural lighting through 3 University of Wisconsin County Extension offices but received no participation likely due to farmers heading the fields because of the warmer than normal spring weather. Work is on-going to plan for educator and producers webinars during the Fall / Winter 2012.


-13 webinar were presented between May 10 and June 28, 2011.
– Webinar Topics / Presenters:
May 10 Energy Conservation for Livestock and Poultry Production
Kevin Janni, Larry Jacobson and Hongwei Xin
May 17 Managing Field Operations to Reduce Energy Costs – Mark Hanna
May 19 Milking System, Variable Frequency Drives, Single Phase Installation Issues and Waterers – Truman Surbrook
May 24 Irrigation Pumping Plants – William Kranz
May 26 Milk Cooling, Water Heating, and Heat Recovery Systems – Dan Schruaben
May 31 Greenhouse Energy Conservation – Scott Sanford
June 2 Greenhouse Thermal/Shade Curtains – Scott Sanford
June 7 Irrigation Scheduling – William Kranz
June 14 Biomass Heating of Greenhouses – Scott Sanford
June 16 Lighting and Block Heaters – Jon Althouse
June 21 Irrigation Pipeline Distribution Systems – William Kranz
June 23 Ventilation, Manure Handling, Fuel Switching – Aluel Go
June 28 Grain drying – Ken Hellevang

– Presentations videos links are posted on the eXtension Farm Energy page for all of the webinars
– Planning for Fall-Winter 2012-13 webinar series is underway.
– Project has teamed up with another project on bioenergy to develop printed materials and an on-line energy conservation curriculum on the topics covered in the webinar series which should be on-line Fall of 2012.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

195 participants attended the 13 webinars for an average of 15 participants per webinar. The highest attendance was for the webinar on Biomass Heating of Greenhouses with 25, followed by Irrigation Pumping and Grain drying each with 22 attending and Field Operations with 21 attending. We had participants from 10 states with an average of 7.6 states per webinar. Participants were asked to fill out Pre- and Post-webinar surveys to test for the increase in understanding of the subjects presented. There were 115 pre-surveys and 62 post-surveys completed. The change in knowledge based on the surveys was 38 percentage point increase. An additional follow-up survey for participants is planned for Fall 2012 to assess whether participants have used the knowledge to train others about the subjects covered.


William Kranz
Associate Professor
University of Nebraska
57005 866 Road
Concord, NE 68728
Office Phone: 4025843857
Scott Sanford
Senior Scientist
University of Wisconsin
460 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Office Phone: 6082625062
Kenneth Hellevang
North Dakota State University
NDSU Dept 7620, Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108
Office Phone: 7012311008
Truman Surbrook
Michigan State University
224 Farrall Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
Office Phone: 5173533232
Kevin Janni
University of Minnesota
1390 Eckles Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55108
Office Phone: 6126243005