The Midwest Rural Energy Council is a cooperative effort between Extension programs at the University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, South Dakota State University and Iowa State University, and farm programs of member electric power suppliers in these states. Our mission is to support outreach, education and research on rural energy issues for the benefit of:
- farms and other rural energy consumers,
- rural energy suppliers,
- farm organizations and agricultural trade associations,
- electrical equipment and allied industries,
- government regulatory agencies.
Our annual conference typically occurs in February. The next Midwest Rural Energy Conference will be February 10-12, 2021 in Bloomington, MN at the Embassy Suites Airport Hotel, 2800 American Blvd. Follow the links above or to the right to find out more about the MREC, MREC publications, announcements and other educational programs and information on a variety of rural energy issues. Here is a promotional flier about MREC (half a page, front and back).
- The 2020 MREC Rural Energy Conference was held February 12-14 at the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin. See the 2020 archives for presentations. Speakers presented about proper stray voltage measurement techniques, new challenges for regional energy transmission with wind and solar power generation, impact of trade agreements on farmers, energy use comparison of robotic milking compared to other systems, carbon footprint of swine systems, stray voltage effects on cow health, livestock used to manage land under solar arrays, a comparison of different types of dairy farms and their energy use, applied ethics, first hand experiences of managing a large scale robotic dairy, and converting digesters to natural gas. There was a pre-conference workshop during the afternoon of February 12, 2020, on Updates on Dairy Farm Management.
- Three classes in Stray Voltage Investigation for dairy producers and agricultural professionals are typically held each year. Stray Voltage Investigator’s Classes were developed by the University of Wisconsin, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. In 2020, Introduction and Intermediate classes will be held in May at Arlington, Wisconsin. An Advanced class may be held in the fall in Madison, Wisconsin. Instructors are Paul Ortmann of Idaho Power, Doug Reinemann of the University of Wisconsin, and Robert Fick, Brian Costello, and Michael Haas of Alliant Energy. Brochures for the 2020 classes are not yet available, but the information from 2019 is very similar and you can follow the links below to see the old versions (from 2019). Similar classes will likely be held in 2021.
- Brochure about Stray Voltage Investigation classes (2019) Intro and Intermediate.
- Brochure about Stray Voltage Investigation class (2019) Advanced.
Archives of previous conference brochures and conference presentations are here.
If you would like to receive notices of MREC activities and updates please sign up for our quarterly electronic newsletter below.