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Website and Handbook for Farmers Highlight the Benefits of Energy Conservation and Self-reliance

February 20, 2008


Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment will be launching its online website and handbook for farmers at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s Agriculture forum, February 20 – 22, in Des Moines, Iowa.

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT – In response to record-high energy prices and increasing financial pressure on independent farms, the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School (IEE) is releasing two publications and a website highlighting the benefits of energy self-reliance. The resources are an indispensable tool-kit for farmers looking to save money and protect the environment through alternative energy sources. The Farmer’s Handbook for Energy Self-Reliance offers in-depth analysis of energy efficiency, biomass, and alternative energy use on small farms. The publication covers best practices and technical aspects of start-up, and includes success stories from a variety of different regional farm scenarios. Highlights include:

  • Energy planning strategies that farmers can use to model their energy choices;
  • Analysis of energy efficient practices that can save time and money in farming operations;
  • A review of the different applications of bio-mass (wood, manure, biodiesel, and ethanol) for on-farm production and consumption;
  • An appraisal of the benefits of wind and solar power on the farm.

A second publication, A Farmer’s Guide to Energy Self-Reliance, offers tips and suggestions outlined by price-point, ranging from cheap and easy adjustments to substantial investments.The IEE's Energy Solutions For Independent Farms website offers a glossary of state-specific financial incentives for alternative energy investments, links to related web resources and publications, a selection of success stories, and will be updated regularly with new information.

The project launch will coincide with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) forum on Energy Efficiency in Agriculture, February 20 – 22 in Des Moines, Iowa, where project leaders will be presenting two panels. The first panel will focus on the role of efficiency in the national biofuels policy debate. The second will look at small-scale production and on-farm consumption of biofuels. Information on the ACEEE Ag Forum can be found at

The publications are free and available online at theEnergy Solutions For Independent Farms website, or in print by contacting the IEE directly at

IEE, a program of the VLS Environmental Law Center, serves as a resource on energy law and policy. The institute distributes scholarly, technical, and practical publications and provides forums and conferences for professional education and issue development. IEE also serves as a center for graduate research on energy issues with an environmental awareness. Farmers and interested organizations are encouraged to contact IEE for more information at

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