House subcommittee holds public hearing to discuss opportunities for on-farm energy efforts

Farmers and ranchers work to create on-farm energy opportunities. The House Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit open up the floor for discussing on ways on-farm energy can help a producer’s bottom line and improve the economy of their communities.

Representative David Scott states, “Americans in towns, both large and small, are keeping an eye on not only their own health, but also on their financial bottom line. For all Americans that includes thinking about the cost of energy that powers our homes, our cars...but for that American farmer that also includes thinking about additional ways farmers can boost their incomes, as the farm economy continues to lag. There could be no more important issue than the one we are going to deal with today.”

One of the speakers was Bryan Siever of Stockton, Iowa. He has beef cattle, corn, soybeans, and hay. He also has two digesters that use byproducts from the farm to create energy. “Conservation and environmental stewardship are paramount to our operation,” Siever noted.

Will Harris, of White Oak Pastures Farm in Bluffton, Georgia, also spoke to the subcommittee. “There are three things I want to cover with you today: regenerative farming as an economic driver and as a tool to help mitigate climate change and paired with renewable energy to create more opportunities for rural America.”

There were several farmers and ranchers who talked about the benefits of using by products and waste from their farms and up-cycling them. However, the roadblock for many producers is having the money to build the facilities to process it and create it.