Thursday, March 10
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, East Lansing, Mich.
Registration: 7:45-8:30 a.m.
Conference: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Are you looking for ways to more cost-effectively provide energy on your farm? Have you considered harnessing the natural energy of the wind, sun, water or energy crops? Make plans to attend the Powering Michigan Agriculture with Renewable Energy event on Thursday, March 10 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Mich.

During this day-long program farmers will have the opportunity to learn more about various renewable energy technologies that are available to Michigan farms. Presentations will help farmers better understand wind, solar, biomass, anaerobic digestion or geothermal technologies, how they can be applied to your farm, and pros and cons of each technology. You’ll leave with the necessary information to identify which of these technologies is most suitable to help you meet your energy management goals. Walk away equipped with the resources and tools needed to implement these technologies on farm.


Registration for the day is $35 per person and includes lunch.


8:30 a.m. Welcome
8:45-9:15 a.m.

Energy in Rural Michigan: Lay of the Land
Jim Byrum, Michigan Agri-Business Association

9:15-10:45 a.m. Existing Renewable Opportunities – Implementation
  • Why solar energy? - Ken Zebarah, Harvest Energy Solutions
  • Exploiting the free, renewable energy, above and below your farm - Timothy Schultz, Terra Caloric, LLC
  • Small wind energy systems - Steve Harsh, Michigan State University Extension
  • Anaerobic digestion in Michigan: A review of where we are and a look at opportunities for the future - Dana Kirk, Michigan State University
  • Growing fuels: Biomass opportunities for farmers - Charles Gould, Michigan State University Extension
  • The role of an energy audit in renewable energy project - Dan Schrauben, Schrauben Associates, LLC
10:45-11:15 a.m. Break
 11:15 a.m. -12:15 p.m. Getting It Built: Funding Pathways Available to Farmers
  • Duane Watson, Consumers Energy
  • Sean McCoy, DTE
  • Kevin Phillips,WECC
  • Rick Vanderbeek, USDA RD
  • Becky Otto, USDA NRCS
  • Todd O'Grady, MI SAVES
12:15-2 p.m. Lunch, Keynote Presentation, Awards Presentation and Vendor Visits
Sean Babington, Senator Debbie Stabenow's office,
Al Go, Michigan State University
2-3:30 p.m.

Energy Innovation: Michigan Examples
Panel of farmers to discuss on-farm applications of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies

  • Joanmarie and Roger Weiss, Weiss Centennial Farm (dairy farm with a gasifier that uses biomass to produce heat and hot water)
  • Jon VanderKolk, GDW Turkey Farm (turkey farm that implemented heater efficiency, insulation and facility weatherization energy efficiency practices)
  • Judy Marteniuk, Refsal/Marteniuk Farm (goat farm with geothermal and solar photovoltaic systems)
  • Andy Austin, Scenic View Dairy (dairy farm with an anaerobic digester)
3:30-3:45 p.m.

Michigan's Energy Policy and Programs Affecting Agriculture
Paul Proudfoot, Michigan Agency for Energy

3:45-4 p.m.

Closing Comments
Laura Campbell, Michigan Farm Bureau

4 p.m. Exhibitor Visits

Vendor Opportunities

We are seeking renewable energy companies or service providers to be part of our exhibit space during the conference. This will be an opportunity to showcase your products or services to our attendees. Vendor opportunities are detailed in the Sponsorship and Vendor document below.

Event Sponsorship

We invite you to become a significant part of the Powering Michigan Agriculture with Renewable Energy by sponsoring the conference. Sponsorship opportunities are detailed in the Sponsorship and Vendor document below.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations for participants or vendors will not be allowed after March 3, 2016.

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Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For more information, contact Betsy Braid at 517-884-7081 or