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USDA and Department of Energy to Host Series of Listening Sessions on American Farms, Rural Benefits

Ernie Watson
Albuquerque, N.M.
Release Date

Agencies Seek Input on How Clean Energy Siting Outcomes Can Benefit Farmers, Rural Americans

WASHINGTONDec. 12, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will host a series of listening sessions this winter. The agencies invite perspectives on the benefits and challenges of the rapidly increasing levels of clean energy being sited on agricultural lands and in rural communities.

USDA and DOE seek feedback directly from a diverse set of stakeholders about what the agencies can do through their leadership, program guidance, or research and information sharing to encourage positive clean energy siting outcomes that benefit farmers, rural Americans, the renewable energy industry and others.

Stakeholders can register to participate in public listening sessions that are available virtually by clicking on the selected date and time:

  • Government permitting and policy representatives at state, county, and local levels on Jan. 12, 2024, at 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET Government Permitting and Policy Representatives, Register Here
  • Agricultural producers on Jan. 16, 2024, at 10 – 11:30 a.m. ET. Agriculture Producers, Register Here
  • All stakeholders and members of the public on Jan. 16, 2024, at 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. ET. All Stakeholders, Register Here
  • Rural electric coops and clean energy developers on Jan. 17, 2024, at 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. ET. Energy Organizations, Register Here

Stakeholders may submit written comments by Jan. 20, 2024, to CleanEnergySiting@USDA.gov.


Clean energy deployment is key to domestic energy security, addressing climate change, and rural economic development. Clean energy investments can bring economic opportunities to farmers and rural Americans. For example, leasing non-productive land for clean energy production can be an important source of revenue for farmers facing droughts or other extreme weather events. There are also opportunities to co-locate clean energy on agricultural land and continue farming it.

However, there is no one size fits all solution or best practice to siting renewable energy projects like wind and solar because each community that hosts a project is unique.

Some communities are concerned about the potential for loss of farmland, decreased home values, or impact on rural character from this development. Understanding and addressing these concerns is vital to ensuring that farmers and rural communities have the opportunity to benefit from clean energy. 

If you would like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page

If you would like to subscribe to USDA communications on this listening session topic of American Farms, Rural Benefits, please contact us at CleanEnergySiting@USDA.gov.