What’s New & Calendar of Events

Conference coming up February 12-14, 2020 in La Crosse Wisconsin, see below under professional development opportunities.

Professional Development Opportunities

  • The 2020 MREC Rural Energy Conference will be held February 12-14 at the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Speakers will present 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 will be a pre-conference workshop during the afternoon of February 12, 2020, on Updates on Dairy Farm Management.
  • Read the full conference brochure here. Register here for the conference and pre-conference workshop.
  • Three levels of 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 2019, Introduction and Intermediate classes were held May 14-16 at Arlington, Wisconsin and an Advanced class was held October 15-16 in Madison, Wisconsin. Similar classes will be held in 2020.
  •  View the brochure for the 2019 Intro and Intermediate classes here.   View the brochure for the 2019 Advanced class here.

Rural Electrification in the News

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) dedicated a historic plaque on April 11, 2019, to celebrate a historic event in rural electrification. In the 1920’s the Alabama Power Company installed a rural electric line that provided service to ten farms, a cotton gin, and a dairy. They then met with the head of Auburn University’s Agricultural Engineering Department, Mark Nichols, to discuss rural electrification. The plaque commemorates the establishment of the first cooperative program for rural electrification between a power company and an agricultural engineering department.  Read more here.

Credit for Professional Training:

    • If you participated in an educational opportunity hosted by the Midwest Rural Energy Council and would like information on how to document instructional hours for professional training credit, click here.  You can get documentation for participation in the MREC Annual Conference or the Stray Voltage Investigator’s Trainings.


Archives of the brochures and presentations from previous annual  MREC conferences can be found here.