The Center's groundbreaking work in practical on-farm research began in 1976 with the Small Farm Energy Project. The goal: "Energy self-sufficient farms as the future of agriculture."
This 3-year research and demonstration effort involved 24 Nebraska farm families. The project showed how small commercial farmers could reduce purchased energy inputs and improve net farm income by using alternative energy technologies.
By the final year, the cooperating farmers consumed 13% less energy than a matched group and spent 17% less money on energy while maintaining production levels. Later, the project broadened its work to include all resources within the farm, especially water resources, which was and is the main agronomic constraint in the western edge of the Corn Belt.
Download the Small Farm Energy Project report as a pdf.