For Farmers Wind means $

December 6, 2011

It’s the difference between being able to stay on the land, and pass along a way of life to children and grandchildren, or having to sell out to developers and take a job in town.

For struggling rural communities, it’s an alternative development model that breaths new life into local services and schools. Here in the midwest, where, for the last 20 years, the biggest idea for “development’ in rural areas has been prisons – it’s time to move on.

Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Iowa): 

WATERLOO, Iowa — Of the 480 acres Tim Hemphill owns and 1,200 he farms near Milford, he sets aside three for two wind-turbine towers.

In exchange for the small plot of land Hemphill would have devoted to his corn and soybean products, he collects $20,000 a year.

“It’s worth it, even with high grain prices,” Hemphill said. “When we put them up, corn was around $3 a bushel, and it has doubled since then, but it’s still worth it.”

“The check’s always good,” he said.

Hemphills’s towers have been up for two years, and the checks will flow in quarterly for the run of a 30-year contract, he said.

Hemphill said he is but one of an increasing number of Iowa farmers who have watched wind towers go up on their acreages.

“There’s quite a few farmers I know who have them,” he said. “My neighbor has six of them and another with seven.”

Hemphill said his motivation transcends finances, although he acknowledges the income certainly doesn’t hurt.

“I think we need more green energy,” he said. “People in California and the cities have brownouts. Besides, it’s a good revenue source.”

See special Waterloo Courier section on wind energy here.


4 Responses to “For Farmers Wind means $”

  1. Martin_Lack Says:

    Fossil fuels are “so 20th Century!” and, if as Blue Rock et al seem to think, we can raise the standard of living of most people on Earth to a decent level (I think we in ‘the West’ may have to moderate our over-consumption a bit as well) – and still produce enough electricity for everybody – well so much the better.

    However, personally-speaking, I think such thinking is totally deluded because the ecological carrying capacity of planet Earth, if everyone lived like we do in ‘the West’, would be no more than 3 billion.

    Despite this, if we wish to try and eliminate poverty and generate enough nuclear-free electricity for everybody, then we will almost certainly have to put up with the industrialisation of the countryside. Due to anti-nuclear hysteria, we may have no other choice…

  2. mrsircharles Says:

    Nuclear has not only a dangerous legacy, it has a carbon footprint 10 times worse than wind energy. Not counted in: the unsolved waste problem.

    The people of Japan will be the new Guinea pigs after the cover-ups of Chernobyl



    Nuclear is 20th century technology. The 21st century belongs to the renewables.

  3. Wind is bringing manufacturing jobs to Windsor Ontario too

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