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Focus On: MEA Agriculture Program Award Assists Family Farm with Risk Management

by Dean Fisher, Program Manager

Bart and Brad Hopkins are fourth-generation crop farmers in Kennedyville, Maryland. Along with their dad, George Hopkins, they look to minimize risk wherever they can on their family farm. Like many farmers, they keep old and inefficient equipment around as long as it can be kept alive. Thanks to their 2018 Kathleen A. P. Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program they were able to offset the cost of replacing their old and inefficient grain dryer with a new energy efficient grain dryer that is estimated to save half of the grain drying energy use. For the Hopkins family this timely upgrade will help them with the current uncertainty due to tariffs on soybeans. The new system will also help offset the risk of having the dryer breakdown during harvest. They also grow corn and wheat, and saving energy saves them money which can be reinvested back into the farm. According to George, “This grant means the world to us because we wouldn’t have been able to upgrade our old dryer without it.”

The 2019 Kathleen A. P. Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program is now open and accepting applications. Applications are due by Friday, November 16, 2018.