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Agriculture & Environment News Feed
Guide to Environmental Markets for Farmers and Ranchers

Preliminary Analysis of Utility-Only Cap Climate Bills [Bingaman & Kerry/Lieberman]

On-Farm Conservation in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

Clean Energy Legislation Has Potential for Long-Term Benefits to Farmers

Agriculture Lands a Vital Part of the Great Outdoors

New Study: Impacts of Climate Change Legislation on Agriculture in the Rocky Mountain States

Renewable Energy Catalogue
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Addressing Climate Change > Renewable Energy Catalogue

harnessing the benefits of homegrown Energy

Wind Turbines On a Farm With CowsCurrently, energy use in the United States relies heavily on non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.  However, as global energy use increases, these sources are beginning to dwindle and becoming too expensive to maintain. 

On the contrary, there are numerous renewable energy resources that are infinite in supply and environmentally beneficial.  Since many of these renewable energies require the same inputs as farms--such as open space, sunlight and crops--production of renewable energy is perfectly suited for U.S. agriculture.

In fact, farmers and ranchers are already "growing" many forms of clean and renewable energy on their land, saving costs and generating new income streams.  The passage of clean energy legislation will dramatically increase income from on farm renewable energy and present many of these practices as valuable income streams. That means farmers and ranchers are in the unique position to benefit from new sources of income, improve our nation’s environmental stewardship and cultivate our nation’s energy independence, all at the same time.

Wind is created by natural forces resulting from the sun’s heat. Farmers can benefit from this natural phenomenon by capturing wind energy with wind   turbines and converting it to electricity. 

Electricity from Manure:

Cow with sunflower

Methane biodigesters
burn waste methane produced in animals’ guts and use the heat to power a generator. Digesters can help meet electricity needs while destroying methane—a powerful greenhouse gas.


Biofuel Plant

Biofuels are fuels made from agricultural crops like corn and soybeans and used to power cars, tractors and other transportation vehicles. 

Solar Energy:

Solar Panel On A Barn

Sunlight can be used to generate on-farm electricity, heat and cool homes, greenhouses and other structures, run appliances and provide other such services

Ethanol from Switchgrass:



Switchgrass is a fast-growing variety of prairie grass has the potential to grow in areas from the Great Plains all the way to the Southeast.


Farm and River

Micro-hydro systems divert water from a water source and pipe the water to a turbine, generating electricity.

Biomass Pellets:

Biomass Wood Pellets

Biomass pellets are organic materials—often byproducts—that can be used as fuel, mainly for heating.
Geothermal Energy:

Geothermal Energy

If available, geothermal wells can transport heat to from underground to the ground’s service, which can be used to generate electricity.  Producers could use geothermal energy for a variety of purposes.

American Farmland Trust