Mar 30, 2021
Organic Valley founds national clean energy fund for its farmers
Organic Valley recently rolled out a partnership with Clean Energy Credit Union to provide the best loan terms for farmers seeking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels with renewable energy and efficiencies.
The Powering the Good Loan Fund is first of its kind for both cooperatives, pioneering a unique clean energy loan fund for over 1,700 farmers across the country, according to a news release from Organic Valley, which represents nearly 1,800 farmers in 34 U.S. states, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Organic Valley produces a wide range of organic dairy, egg and produce products and achieved $1.1 billion in 2019 sales.
To accelerate energy improvements, Organic Valley and Clean Energy CU will roll out a $1 million fund with plans to expand, according to the news release. Loans supplied to Organic Valley 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.
“We have been 100% renewable-powered in our owned facilities since 2019, and now we are going a step further,” Bob Kirchoff, Organic Valley CEO, said in the release. “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. 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.”
“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,” Blake Jones, volunteer noard chair of Clean Energy CU, said in the release.
Clean Energy Credit Union is a not-for-profit, financial services cooperative. An online/digital-only and federally chartered credit union, it serves its members throughout the USA. www.cleanenergycu.org
Photo: USDA/Lance Cheung