The Illinois chapter of the American Dairy Association of the Midwest and its constituency of 600 Illinois dairy farm families announced a partnership with the UpField Group to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy, specifically, solar energy usage on dairy farms.
The decision was made by dairy farmer leadership to align efforts of ADA of the Midwest with the Future Energy Jobs Act of Illinois in an effort to help reach the dairy industry’s goal, created in partnership with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, of further reducing on-farm greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by the year 2020.
The Future Energy Jobs Act, among other initiatives, will substantially expand renewable energy efficiency programs, protect 4,200 jobs and preserve $1.2 billion in annual economic activity. In addition, FEJA will position Illinois as a leader in zero-carbon electricity.
“As dairy farmers and neighbors to Illinois communities, we continuously strive to better our footprint and our legacy as stewards of our land. Dairy farmers are constantly looking for new ways to innovate, reduce our inputs and be more efficient on the farm. Adoption of renewable energy solutions such as biomass, anaerobic digestion and solar power on farms are just a few ways we strive to be more efficient and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Bill Deutsch, a DeKalb County dairy farmer.
ADA Midwest approved a partnership with the UpField Group to aid in bringing solar energy solutions to the farm. The UpField Group proposed a plan that would generate financial resources for dairy farmers that could in turn be used to advance farm-focused initiatives.
“Supporting farmers here in Illinois is core to our business. Our company exists to connect communities and corporations to agriculture. Working as a connector between energy partners and dairy farmers puts us in a position to help farmers reach their goals, and that feels like the right place for us to be,” said Mark Inkrott, co-founder of the UpField Group.