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 or 814-623-4800. Find more about the Cornell project here.

Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using this contact form and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

Do you want to see more from LebTown?

Support local news. Cancel anytime.

Already a member? Login here

Free news isn’t cheap. If you value the journalism LebTown provides to the community, then help us make it sustainable by becoming a champion of local news. You can unlock additional coverage for the community by supporting our work with a one-time contribution, or joining as a monthly or annual member. You can cancel anytime.


LebTown membership required to comment.

Already a member? Login here

Leave a comment

Your email address will be kept private.