National Farmer’s Day 2022: Celebrating Farmers Across America and at National Grid Renewables
As a farmer-founded company, we take our partnership with local communities and landowners to heart. Here at National Grid Renewables, we believe that farmers are vital to the growth of the American economy – and this National Farmer’s Day, we’d like to take a moment to recognize all of the hard work that our famers put into feeding and supplying US communities with essential needs every day.
Meet the Farmers That Are Part of our National Grid Renewables Team!
Keith and Barb Bolin
Location: Bureau County, IL
Type of Farm: Corn & Soybeans
Time with National Grid Renewables: 8 years
Keith Bolin started farming with his father in 1978 in Bureau County Illinois and continues to farm to this day, with his wife Barb of 44 year. The Bolin’s became intimately involved in renewable energy back in 2004 when they launched a campaign to combine a local school district and power the new facility solely via wind power. The Bureau Valley School District proudly became the first school in Illinois to be powered by wind in 2005. This success kicked off a passion within Keith and Barb to continue to support renewable energy projects at National Grid Renewables through landowner support, community outreach and managing local government relationships.
Q: Do you think your experience in agriculture and farming has brought value to your work with National Grid Renewables?
Keith: Being a member of the industry for over 30 years, both Barb and I have a real passion for farming and sincere empathy for the generations who have struggled to make a living working the soil. We have a common understanding of the problems our landowners face, and we share common ground with local zoning and county board members, who tend to have an agriculture background. I think we both would agree that the best and most important part of our job is to get to know our landowners and try to give them as much of our time as needed, and by our actions, show them our company is trustworthy and truly cares about the surrounding communities where we work.
Q: What does being a farmer mean to you?
Barb: We’ve raised our family in the area where we both grew up and seeing familiar faces every day that we’ve known our entire lives coming together without hesitation for the good times and bad. We feel lucky and proud to call the farming community our family.
Location: Perry County, Ohio
Type of Farm: Livestock & Grain
Time with National Grid Renewables: 1.5 years
Chris and his wife have lived on her family’s century farm for almost 25 years. Today, Chris and his family run a cattle operation and harvest grain on the farm that has been in his wife’s family for more than 100 years. Additionally, they support the local 4H program with goats that are raised on the farm. Chris has been working with National Grid Renewables for almost two years, supporting local education and community outreach efforts in the state of Ohio.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge for the farming industry right now, and how are we positioned to help?
It costs a lot of money to run a farm – from equipment to seeding and fertilizing – and we invest a lot of time and labor into something that is very much dependent on factors outside of our control, such as the weather. Many farmers put their life savings into keeping a farm going, but it’s not always a secure income year over year.
When a farmer, or landowner, puts a portion of their property into a renewable energy project, it can provide some security for these families and their farm – allowing them to continue to invest in their operations and providing new opportunities for the entire community.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a part of the farming community?
Where our farm is located, we are surrounded by a community of other farmers, including many from my wife’s family. Whenever somebody needs help or equipment breaks down, we all help each other out. And it’s not just at the farm – it’s throughout the entire community. At our local county fair, I’m always amazed how many families know each other, even 2-3 generations apart.
Being part of this community also allows me to be able to relate to the farmer, or landowner, and truly understand their concerns when it comes to a project. I’m able to build stronger relationships with them because I’m part of the same community.