Advancing its commitment to regenerative farming systems, La Farge, Wis.-based Organic Valley is partnering with Clean Energy Credit Union (Clean Energy CU) to launch the Powering the Good Loan Fund. The fund aims to provide the best loan terms for farmers seeking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels with renewable energy and efficiencies, Organic Valley said. The program is first of its kind for both cooperatives, pioneering a unique clean energy loan fund for more than 1,700 farmers across the country.
To accelerate energy improvements, Organic Valley and Clean Energy CU will roll out a $1 million fund with plans to expand. As the nation's largest organic, farmer-owned cooperative, Organic Valley said it pulls carbon out of the air through regenerative practices such as rotational grazing, while also working to reduce carbon emitted wherever possible.
Organic Valley and Clean Energy CU will roll out a $1 million fund with plans to expand.
"Organic Valley leads on renewable energy. We have been 100% renewable powered in our owned facilities since 2019, and now we are going a step further," said Bob Kirchoff, Organic Valley CEO. "We are focused on a whole-systems approach to renewable energy, and I'm excited to debut this energy loan fund.
“From the farm to the shelf, I see renewable energy playing a bigger role in organic food,” he added. “We are providing farmers a means to reduce their energy costs and become more self-sufficient and sustainable. Farmers who participate in this loan fund contribute to a healthy, regenerative future for the next generation."
Kirchoff is providing remarks about renewable energy as a guest speaker on March 22 at the Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit.
Organic Valley said loans supplied to its farmers through Clean Energy CU will be used for:
- Solar electric systems to offset farm energy consumption.
- Farm energy-efficiency improvements such as plate coolers, VFDs, LED lighting, insulation, ventilation and more.
- Geothermal systems and ground-source heat pumps for farm heating and cooling.
"This is a great example of cooperation among cooperatives to pursue our aligned missions," said Blake Jones, volunteer board chair of Clean Energy CU. "Organic Valley is already helping to protect the environment through regenerative and organic farming practices, and now they're going one step further by supporting the installation of renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects for their farmer-members. In addition to the environmental benefits, we're also excited about helping family farmers throughout the USA to lower their energy costs and improve the bottom line of their independently owned farms."