Columbia Co. farmers to harvest energy from wind

Posted on May 13, 2010. Filed under: Wind |

From an article in the Country Today by Jim Massey, Editor:

FALL RIVER — John Priske said someday he expects to see a small wind turbine on just about every farm that has air to move
the blades.

But Priske wasn’t about to wait until he could be a follower.

“We as farmers need to take control of this movement,” Priske said May 6 at his Columbia County farm. “We have to be open to a new vision.”

Priske and his wife, Dorothy, are installing a 140-foot wind turbine on their 280-acre beef farm west of Fall River. The 50-kilowatt tower will be the first three-phase system installed by Seventh Generation Energy Systems, a nonprofit organization that helps plan, fund, develop and maintain energy systems powered by wind and the sun.

The Priskes own and operate Fountain Prairie Inn and Farms. They have about 400 Scottish Highland cattle that they sell to more than a dozen Madison-area restaurants.

They also sell their beef to Milwaukee restaurants through a Restaurant Supported Agriculture program and at the Dane
County Farmers Market.

John, 60, said he remembers the gas rationing of the 1970s and knows something similar or worse could happen again.

“How do we know that oil will be here to run all of our equipment at any cost?” John said. “The few of us who have towers up
will at least be able to supply some energy. In 9/11 we lost a lot of our freedoms. We all have to do our part to get those freedoms back. We won’t be able to do that until we are energy independent.”


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