Penn State program aims to help farmers cut costs, increase revenue

Event will offer information on alternative, renewable energy strategies

University Park, Pa. — Rising costs for fuel, fertilizers and other agricultural supplies are leading farmers to rethink their energy choices. To help them assess their energy options, the Lancaster County Center of Excellence in Production Agriculture is offering Energy on the Farm, a one-day seminar for Lancaster County and Capital and Northeast Regions farmers, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8, at the Lancaster Farm and Home Center. The seminar will provide participants with basic information about alternative and renewable energy and ways to reduce costs and generate revenue.

"Energy conservation is a critical issue for farmers," said Peggy Fogarty-Harnish, agricultural economic development educator with Lancaster County Cooperative Extension. "Through this seminar, farmers can learn how to reduce energy cost and consumption and how to harness and profit from wind, sun and renewable fuels. They can also hear a panel presentation about renewable energy options followed by opportunities to discuss their own energy concerns.

"Energy efficiency is very important in today's economy; farmers should carefully review their operations to find ways to reduce energy waste. In times of rising energy costs, efficiency can be the difference between making and losing money," added Fogarty-Harnish.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff will be the keynote speaker. He will focus on renewable energy options for farmers in Pennsylvania. A panel of agricultural leaders, energy professionals and local farmers will be available to answer questions on issues such as financial resources, biomass combustion, as well as energy assessments and conservation.

Penn State Cooperative Extension Lancaster County, Penn State, The Lancaster Center, the Lancaster County Center of Excellence in Production Agriculture and PPL Corporation are sponsoring the seminar. For information and to register, visit or fill out and mail the registration form located in Lancaster Farming to Penn State Lancaster Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Room 102, Lancaster, PA 17601. For questions, call (717) 299-7667 or e-mail [email protected].