Organic Valley Launches Clean Energy Fund for its Farmers
New Cooperative fund offers nation’s most farmer-friendly renewable energy loan program.
(above) A Wisconsin Organic Valley member farm with Solar panels installed. Courtesy of Organic Valley
Advancing its commitment to regenerative farming systems, Organic Valley is partnering with Clean Energy Credit Union (“Clean Energy CU”) to launch the Powering the Good Loan Fund to provide the best loan terms for farmers seeking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels with renewable energy and efficiencies. The program is first of its kind for both cooperatives, pioneering a unique clean energy loan fund for over 1,700 farmers across the country.
To accelerate energy improvements, Organic Valley and Clean Energy CU will roll out a $1 million fund with plans to expand. As the nation’s largest organic, farmer-owned cooperative, Organic Valley pulls carbon out of the air through regenerative practices like rotational grazing, while also working to reduce carbon emitted wherever possible.
“Organic Valley leads on renewable energy. We have been 100% renewable powered in our owned facilities since 2019, and now we are going a step further,” said Bob Kirchoff, Organic Valley CEO. “We are focused on a whole systems approach to renewable energy, and I’m excited to debut this energy loan fund. From the farm to the shelf, I see renewable energy playing a bigger role in organic food. We are providing farmers a means to reduce their energy costs and become more self-sufficient and sustainable. Farmers who participate in this loan fund contribute to a healthy, regenerative future for the next generation.”
Kirchoff recently spoke about renewable energy as a guest speaker at the Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit.
Loans supplied to Organic Valley farmers through Clean Energy CU will be used for:
- Solar electric systems to offset farm energy consumption
- Farm energy efficiency improvements such as plate coolers, VFDs, LED lighting, insulation, ventilation and more
- Geothermal systems and ground-source heat pumps for farm heating and cooling.
“This is a great example of cooperation among cooperatives to pursue our aligned missions,” said Blake Jones, Volunteer Board chair of Clean Energy CU. “Organic Valley is already helping to protect the environment through regenerative and organic farming practices, and now they’re going one step further by supporting the installation of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for their farmer-members. In addition to the environmental benefits, we’re also excited about helping family farmers throughout the USA to lower their energy costs and improve the bottom line of their independently owned farms.”
The two cooperatives are experienced with advancing renewable energy and are now combining forces to accelerate renewable energy installations on farms across rural America.
About Organic Valley
Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Founded in 1988, the cooperative represents nearly 1,800 farmers in 34 U.S. states, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom and achieved $1.1 billion in 2019 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a wide range of organic dairy, egg and produce products. As a leader in pasture-based, regenerative organic farming, Organic Valley works with nature, not against it. For more information visit – https://www.organicvalley.coop. Organic Valley is also @OrganicValley on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Clean Energy Credit Union
Clean Energy Credit Union is a not-for-profit, financial services cooperative that focuses exclusively on providing loans for clean energy and energy-saving projects such as electric vehicles, e-bikes, solar electric systems, geothermal heat pump systems, and other green home improvements. Clean Energy Credit Union is an online/digital-only and federally chartered credit union that serves its members throughout the USA. For more information visit – https://www.cleanenergycu.org