MFEC 2019


The Midwest Farm Energy Conference will begin on Wednesday, July 10 with registration at noon.  Afternoon sessions include informative presentations on renewable energy initiatives for Midwest dairies, energy use in cropping systems, and a tour of the WCROC dairy facilities. The conference will continue on Thursday, July 11 with an emphasis on renewable energy technologies for swine production. Registration options include full conference rate, single-day rate, and/or student rate, as well as the option to attend the keynote dinner only.  The conference will be held at the West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris.  

Wednesday, July 10

12:00 PM   Registration and Check-in

1:00 PM   Welcome & Kickoff Speaker

1:15 PM   Can We Achieve Climate Resiliency in Midwest Cropping Systems

    • Dr. Jerry Hatfield, Lab Directory and Plant Physiologist, USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, IA

2:00 PM   Transforming Future Energy Systems for Crop and Livestock Production

    • Michael Reese, Director of Renewable Energy, WCROC

2:30 PM   Energy Consumption on Minnesota Dairy Farms

    • Brad Heins, Associate Professor, Animal Science, WCROC

3:00 PM   Break

3:20 PM   Developing Biogas Systems Using Livestock Manure

    • Grant Zimmerman, CEO, Amp America

3:50 PM   Financing Large, Locally-Owned Renewable Energy Systems

    • Clay Norrbom, Juhl Energy 

4:20 PM   Tour of Dairy Energy Systems

5:30 PM   Networking & Social Hour (held at Old No. One Southside, Morris)

6:00 PM  Dinner and Keynote Speaker (Meal provided as part of paid Registration)

    • "Perspectives on the Future of Agriculture from a Nobel Laureate's View" - Dr. Jerry Hatfield, Lab Director and Plant Physiologist, USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, IA 

7:00 PM   Agriculture Energy Production Panel

    • Moderated by Dr. Brian Buhr, Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, U of MN

Thursday, July 11

7:30 AM   Light Breakfast and Registration at the WCROC (doors open at 7 AM)

8:00 AM   Welcome

8:10 AM   Panel: Solar PV on Farms: From Idea to Operation

    • Fritz Ebinger, J.D., Rural Energy Program Manager, Clean Energy Resource Teams, U of MN
    • Eric Buchanan, Renewable Energy Scientist, WCROC
    • Dan Husted, Lake Region Electric Cooperative

9:10 AM   Cooling Sows and Heating Piglets with Solar Energy

    • Lee Johnston, Professor, Animal Science, WCROC

9:40 AM   Break

10:00 AM   Electric and Thermal Energy Consumption in Commercial Swine Facilities

    • Kirsten Sharpe, Graduate Student, Animal Science, WCROC

10:30 AM   Environmental Footprints of Midwest Swine Production

    • Erin Cortus, Assistant Professor, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, U of MN

11:00 AM   Swine Industry Panel - Energy Consumption and Production

    • Clay Moore, New Fashion Pork, Jackson, MN
    • Noah Anderson, Anderson Farms, Belgrade, MN
    • Dena Weihert, GDS Associates

12:00 PM   Lunch in the Horticulture Display Garden, WCROC

1:00 PM   Tour of WCROC Energy Systems 

    • Solar on Swine
    • Renewable Hydrogen and Ammonia Pilot Plant
    • Ammonia-Fueled Tractor
    • Electric UTV's and Vehicles

2:30 PM  Conference Wrap-Up