Wyoming agriculture is growing big, like the size of their average farm. Check back next Thursday for the next state spotlight from the 2012 Census of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
In May 2014, abundant snow and rain turned Wyoming pastures and crops green. In the same month, the 2012 Census of Agriculture showed that farmers and ranchers grew their opportunities from 2007 to 2012.
Wyoming is one of only 10 states that increased both the number of farms and ranches, up 6.1 percent, as well as the amount of land they operate, up 0.6 percent, between 2007 and 2012. Once again, Wyoming farmers and ranchers operated the largest farms and ranches in the U.S. with an average of 2,587 acres per farm compared with the U.S. average of 434 acres. Not only did the total number of farmers and ranchers increase, but the number of young farmers and ranchers increased, too. The number of Wyoming farmers and ranchers under the age of 35 increased by 17.4 from 2007-2012.
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A tractor tills the soil among wind turbines in Oklahoma on August 13, 2009. USDA photo by Alice Welch.
In rural communities across the country, USDA Rural Development is bringing new energy efficiency and cost saving opportunities to Indian Country.
Choggiung Limited, a Native American Corporation in southwest Alaska, received a $20,000 energy assistance grant from USDA Rural Development to install a wind turbine at the courthouse in Dillingham – a Native-owned building and leased to the state – that has reduced its energy costs by 80 percent and is saving Choggiung about $20,000 a year. Choggiung is a for-profit Native corporation serving Tribal residents in Dillingham, Ekuk, and Portage Creek, Alaska. “This wind turbine marks a new approach to sustainable business management and renewable energy in Dillingham,” Choggiung CEO Doug Calaway said.
In the southwest, USDA awarded the Arizona-based Navajo Tribal Utility Authority a $100,000 grant to conduct energy audits that helped farmers, ranchers, and small business owners across the Navajo Nation make their operations more energy efficient and economical. Read more »
This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced more than 630 new projects across the country under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). These new projects will help producers and businesses boost their bottom line, while increasing America’s energy security and protecting our environment.
Energy efficiency programs are a key part of the President’s overall plan to mitigate the impacts of a changing climate, while building our renewable energy capacity to support an all-of-the-above approach to America’s energy future.
Under the Obama Administration, USDA has used this program to support more than 7,000 energy efficiency projects. Many of these provided assistance on small and medium-sized farm and ranches, or in rural businesses. Read more »
At the USDA Earth Day outdoor classroom in Boardman, Oregon, last month, USDA program technician Renee Robinson tests the children on what they’ve learned about saving energy at home. USDA photo.
Last month, USDA Rural Development employees and several partner organizations donated their Saturday to celebrate Earth Day with elementary and middle school-aged children at the Castle Rock farm worker housing complex in Boardman, Oregon.
Volunteers from Energy Trust of Oregon, CASA of Oregon, Sustainable Agriculture and Energy (SAGE) Center, Wind Turbine Industries Corporation, and Kardon Construction joined USDA to lead a variety of interactive educational activities about energy conservation and renewable energy alternatives. Read more »
Use of wind turbines for renewable energy production on farms is on the rise. Photo courtesy of USDA Rural Development.
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the U.S. Department of Agriculture blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the agency’s rich science and research portfolio.
Whether visiting Napa or making my way across California’s central valley, I see more and more solar panels and wind turbines on the Golden State’s farms and ranches. And that’s not surprising to me since California has been leading the way towards energy independence and renewable energy production and use. Read more »
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
By Joe Reilly, Associate Administrator, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
I grew up on a small farm near Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, where my family – like many others across the United States – helped provide the food and fiber to build and sustain America. Visiting these types of farm communities today there is a distinctive change on the rural horizon from when I was a child – the presence of wind turbines, solar panels, ethanol plants, and other bioenergy tools and resources. Read more »