Ottawa County Agricultural Energy Conservation Tour

Date: August 17, 2016
Time: 9:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Coopersville Family Fare Supermarket, 1181 W Randall St., Coopersville, MI 49404
Contact: Charles Gould, 616-994-4547, gouldm@msu.edu

TOUR SCHEDULE

9:45 a.m. - Registration

10:15 a.m. - Load tour bus at the Coopersville Family Fare Supermarket (1181 W Randall St, Coopersville, MI 49404)

10:30 a.m. - Langeland Farms (solar photovoltaic and energy conservation)

12 p.m. - Lunch at the Ottawa County Fillmore Complex (funding opportunities)

1 p.m. - Harvest Blue Acres (bioenergy crops)

2 p.m. - GDW Turkey Farms (energy conservation)

 3:30 p.m. - Arrive back at the parking lot

TOUR DESCRIPTION

GDW Turkey Farms finishes approximately 600,000 turkeys at four different sites in Ottawa County. In 2013 an agricultural energy audit was conducted at each site. The audit recommended making lighting improvements, upgrading to infrared tube heaters, adding insulation, installing insulated doors, and planting a windbreak. Topics that will be covered at this farm include the impact of energy conservation practices on animal welfare, employee safety, energy conservation, and reducing energy expenses.

Langeland Farms is a poultry and dairy farm located in Ottawa County. In 2014 the farm installed a 124 kW solar array. Electricity generated is sold to Consumers Energy. Topics that will be covered include how solar PV, replacing lights in the coop, compressor replacement and other energy conservation measures have reduced electricity consumption and expenses.

Harvest Blue Acres is a blueberry farm in Oceana County. The farm is participating in a biomass-to-energy study to determine the feasibility of manufacturing high quality switchgrass fuel pellets for home and industrial heating use. Topics that will be discussed include growing switchgrass, the results of the feasibility study, what has been learned in producing densified switchgrass, and using switchgrass in blueberries as a mulch for weed control. This presentation will be given right after lunch.

During lunch attendees will learn how to access grants, low interest loans, and rebates to implement energy conservation practices.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

There is no charge for this tour due to a grant from the Michigan Energy Office. However, registration is required. Please call the Ottawa County Extension office at 616-994-4540 by August 10 and leave a message with a contact name and phone number and the number of individuals who will be coming. This is a bus tour and all registrants will be expected to ride the tour bus. Please do not drive your vehicle to a tour stop.

Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Charles Gould at 616-994-4547 by Aug. 10, 2016, to make arrangements. Requests received after this date will be fulfilled when possible.

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