The Lebanon County Extension office will host a presentation and discussion this week on the need for a producer-led organization to coordinate contracts for the use of grazing sheep as a vegetation management service at large-scale solar arrays.
The discussion comes on the heels of a Cornell University “New Dawn for Shepherds” study, carried out by the school’s Cooperative Enterprise Program, which surveyed more than 600 farmers on the challenges and opportunities of grazing sheep underneath utility-scale solar farms. According to a press release, nearly 70% of respondents said there was a need for a producer-led organization to “negotiate contracts, provide insurance, transport, and manage sheep once on site,” with that need thought likely to grow by the majority of survey-takers.
CEP and Penn State Extension are presenting the results of the survey in a public forum at Lebanon County Extension, 2120 Cornwall Road, on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. Online registration is requested by Tuesday, Oct. 17.
This interaction session will give farmers the chance to express their thoughts on whether a coop could be valuable for farmers seeking to interface with this novel and quickly-growing industry.
More information about the free event can be obtained by contacting Melanie Barkley, ag extension educator, at email@example.com or 814-623-4800. Find more about the Cornell project here.
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