FRIDAY 8/25/2023: United States Department of Agriculture, Great Plains
Institute, Big River Farms, Connexus Energy, US Solar, and Argonne
National Lab to Hold Media Event at the Minnesota State Fair
Highlighting Pilot Project Combining Solar Energy and Farming
ST PAUL, MINNESOTA — Friday, August 25, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. CT, a media event will take place in the Agriculture and Horticulture Building at the Minnesota State Fair to showcase an innovative pilot project in Minnesota that combines solar energy development and farming and highlights rural energy programming through the federal Inflation Reduction Act. As the country and Minnesota both take steps to convert our energy supply to be derived from carbon-free sources, this pilot project is setting out to solve how solar energy development can be increased while preserving agricultural land for the people who grow the state and nation’s food. Big River Farms, an incubator farm and host of the annual Emerging Farmers conference, is working with its co-op, Connexus Energy, as well as Great Plains Institute, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and US Solar to discover and document safe and scalable practices for emerging farmers to farm hand-harvested crops inside the fence of existing and future solar arrays.
Minnesota is also the first state in the nation to have an Emerging Farmers Office within its Department of Agriculture. For media unable to attend the event, a live stream will be available at this link beginning at the start of the press conference on Friday, August 25, at 10:30 a.m. CT. Photo/video assets will be shared via press release following the event.
WHAT: USDA, Great Plains Institute, Big River Farms, Connexus Energy, US Solar, and Argonne National Lab to hold a media event at the Minnesota State Fair highlighting a pilot project combining solar energy and farming
● Clare Sierawski, Senior Energy Counselor, USDA
● Aliza Drewes, Senior Energy Advisor, USDA
● Colleen Landkamer, Minnesota State Director, USDA
● Brian Ross, Vice President of Renewable Energy, Great Plains Institute
● Sophia Lenarz-Coy, Executive Director, The Food Group and Big River Farms
● KaZoua Berry, Farm Program Manager, The Food Group and Big River Farms
● Greg Ridderbusch, President and CEO, Connexus Energy
● Peter Schmitt, Director of Project Development, US Solar
● Lee Walston, Senior Scientist, Argonne National Lab
WHEN: Friday, August 25, 2023, 10:30 a.m. CT
WHERE: Agriculture and Horticulture Building at the Minnesota State Fair – Common Table pavilion area, south side entrance framed by a giant fork and spoon. The Agriculture and Horticulture Building is located at 1271 Underwood Street, near Judson Avenue and Underwood Street.
Click here for parking and entrance information for the Minnesota State Fair.