Farms consume energy directly in gasoline, diesel, electricity, and natural gas and indirectly in energy-intensive inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides. In addition, some farms produce renewable energy or lease out land for wind turbines, oil, or gas development. Roughly 9 percent of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions come from the agriculture sector. So, transitioning farms from fossil fuel to clean electricity can have a significant impact on climate change.
Electrification opportunities span the range of farming activities and are driven by technological advances, including real-time crop monitoring by drones, robotic milking and weeding machines, and autonomous tractors. In addition, electrification of farm equipment will aid in advancing precision agriculture since many of the protocols used in these technologies are better suited to interface with systems optimized to run on electricity versus fossil fuels.
However, scaling that energy transition is not challenge-free. Some barriers are resistance to change entrenched practices and share data, proof of profitability, and just transitions. Join Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability (SOS) and The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) in a 90-minute discussion of opportunities and challenges to the intelligent, electrified farm of the future. Meet the panel:
Drew Slattery, Moderator, Human Dimensions of Change Lead, The Farm JournalKevin Dooley, Chief Research Scientist, The Sustainability Consortium, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation, ASUKeith Dennis, Vice President, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and Board Co-Chair, Beneficial Electrification LeagueDoug Hutchings, Co-Founder & Chairman, Delta Solar
Meet the Panel
Drew Slattery,Moderator Human Dimensions of Change Lead The Farm Journal’s Trust in Food
Drew Slattery specializes in applying human dimensions theory to drive behavior change to empower agricultural producers in the U.S. to continuously improve their operations’ environmental, financial and social outcomes. Before joining Trust In Food in 2018, Drew served as communications manager for Global Environment and Technology Foundation (GETF), an international NGO focused on providing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) access as well as women’s empowerment programming.
Kevin Dooley Chief Research Scientist The Sustainability Consortium, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation, ASU
Kevin Dooley leads a global research team that works with over 100 of the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers to develop tools that measure and track progress on critical product sustainability issues. He has published 100+ research articles and co-authored the book Organizational Change and Innovation Processes. Kevin has provided training or consultation for over 200 companies in the areas of sustainability, supply chain management, quality, and technology and innovation.
Keith Dennis Vice President National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Board Co-Chair, Beneficial Electrification League
Keith Dennis works with NRECA’s Legislative, Regulatory Policy, and Technical teams on issues related to energy end use, including energy efficiency and demand response. He leads the beneficial electrification initiative on behalf of NRECA. Prior, Keith worked at DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), leading a Policy and Guidance Team for a $3.2 billion energy efficiency and conservation grant program, and served at The White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Doug Hutchings Co-Founder & Chairman Delta Solar
Doug is a scientist, inventor, and pioneer in the Arkansas solar industry. A Hendrix College graduate, Hutchings earned his PhD in Microelectronic-Photonics from the University of Arkansas. He pioneered new techniques to improve the efficiency of solar cells and was named one of the nation’s Top New Inventors by Inventor’s Digest. Doug formed Delta Solar to lower the cost of commercial and agricultural installations and build a solar industry in his home state. Today, he is applying the science to businesses and continues to develop new technologies behind Delta Solar.
Jim runs the family farm, which has awards for sustainability and is a leader in farm electrification. The operation’s ultimate goal is to support the land to produce at its most efficient capacity and leave it more replenished and ready for the next generation who will continue to bring healthy food to tables around the world