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Farmer John Butterbrodt

The Solar Farmer's story

We're constantly seeking new solutions to diversify our energy mix in order to provide reliable energy to our customers. A big part of that is supporting the communities who host our renewable energy projects. Rural areas are ideal for large-scale renewable projects, like solar farms. With every project we develop, our team works with local officials, residents, landowners and other stakeholders to inform the community about possible impacts and opportunities it may bring. We value these partnerships, as well as the opportunity to deliver clean, reliable energy to the greatest number of people.

We're honored when farmers and rural community members make the decision to help us continue this important work. Recently, we sat down with one lifelong farmer who wanted to share his solar story.

From Dairy Farmer to Solar Farmer

John Butterbrodt, of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, is a lifelong farmer. He was active in 4H throughout high school. After graduating in the 1940s, he became a tenant farmer. Back then, they used horses to pull equipment!

Eventually, he became president of the largest dairy co-op in the country. Now in his nineties, he's still going strong.

These days, instead of tending cows and raising corn, the 93-year-old is using his land to host a solar farm for our Beaver Dam Solar Project. His friends and family used to call him "the Dairy Farmer," but now they've taken to calling him "the Solar Farmer."

John says it's good for him, his wife and future generations. It also builds stronger communities. When we partner with landowners, we consider the short- and long-term investments from jobs, tax revenue for local people and organizations, and land usage and reclamation.

We're grateful to John and other agricultural operators who choose to partner with us to grow renewable energy for generations to come.
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Video: The Solar Farmer's Story

"One of the benefits to me of this solar project is the long-term contract. It's good for the taxpayers, it's good for June and myself, it's good for the future generations of our family."
John Butterbrodt, Wisconsin farmer

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