Agriculture Celebrates Every Day as Earth DayPublished by on
April 22nd is Earth Day! Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) encourages everyone to recognize every day as Earth Day.
"In agriculture, every day is Earth Day. April 22 is the day where we emphasize the importance of our natural resources and share agriculture's story," said MFBF President Kevin Paap. "As farmers, we pride ourselves in caring for our water, air, land and its resources. Conserving and protecting the earth for your children and ours is our top priority."
"Today's farmers produce food, fiber, feed and renewable fuel using techniques such as global positioning satellites and biotechnology," said Paap. "The Minnesota Farm Bureau is proud of the dedication and hard work of our farmer and rancher members who care for our natural resources while producing a quality, safe food supply."
"More than 1.1 million acres in the state are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)," said Paap. "Farmers are involved in numerous conservation efforts with the goal of protecting the environment and providing habitat for wildlife."
The Minnesota Farmers Union also recognizes this important day, as MFU President Doug Peterson penned the following:
"Farmers are the original green energy, and given enough funding resources, farm efforts will create the fuel and renewable energy this nation needs. With 2014 as the International Year of the Family Farmer, it is a great opportunity to highlight the important role farmers play in renewable energy, and to promote policies of renewable energies at the global level.
Renewable fuel and energy is a win across the board. It gives family farmers and rural communities an opportunity to improve their financial base, and decrease the effects of climate change by reducing the carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gases.
When you consider that it also makes us less reliant on foreign oil, making us a more safe and secure nation, continuing the path toward increased use of renewable energy is a means of national security. While at the World Farmers Organisation (WFO) General Assembly, National Farmers Union (NFU) was able to insert a renewable energy resolution for consideration among the WFO nations; a tremendous first step given the argument of food versus fuel. It shows acceptance, and we should be proud that NFU brought renewables forward in the global dialogue.
When considering renewable energy, I would be remiss if I did not mention renewable fuels. This is a young industry when compared to fossil fuels. We are developing scientific efficiencies to be competitive, but in reality, we are already competitive. Biofuels reduce greenhouse gases by 59 percent, with the second generation reducing greenhouse gases by 62 percent, including land use consideration. And, the biggest win is that it costs $5/tank cheaper at the pump and costs $1 per gallon less to manufacture than gasoline.
The importance of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is apparent based on fact. It has increased net farm income by 51 percent since it was enacted. The RFS is excellent for family farmers and rural communities. Plus, it is the only fuel that allows us to meet air quality standards throughout the nation. Without renewables in gasoline, our clean air standards would not be compliant, and the Environment Protection Agency knows that.
Renewable energy may not be perfect, but I will take the first and second generation of American renewable fuel over dirty gasoline and world dominance of big oil."
Doug Peterson President
Minnesota Farmers Union
A reminder that a great way to observe Earth Day for 2014 is to conserve water in any manner possible. Minnesota Energy Resources is offering all current residential natural gas customers in Worthington FREE Water Conservation Kits.
The kits include low-flow showerheads, along with kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators. These items are easy to install so you can begin saving on your home's water heating costs right away. The free kits can be ordered by visiting http://www.cashrebatesnow.com and clicking on FREE Water Conservation Kit or by calling 877-831-6050; the conservation kit will be delivered directly to your home.
“These water conservation kits are a nice way to celebrate 2014 by keeping a little extra money in your pockets,” says Jeff Larson, Senior External Affairs Manager at Minnesota Energy Resources. “Customers who have participated in the program have been very happy with the kits. In fact, 99% of participants surveyed indicated that they would recommend this program to others. Customers have also been pleased with our toll-free ordering service, which allows us to mail the FREE Water Conservation Kit direct to their doors after one simple call.”
In addition to the water conservation kits, Minnesota Energy Resources’ new online Home Energy Profile can help you easily understand how energy efficient your home is and how to get connected to energy efficiency rebate programs. Give it a try and learn new ways to save! Just visit http://mer.energysavvy.com/
Terms & Conditions:
- Must have a natural gas water heater to qualify
- Must be a Minnesota Energy Resources residential customer with an existing account
- Not available for new construction
- Maximum order limits per household apply. (Visit us online for complete program rules at http://www.cashrebatesnow.com)