Sept. 12 2017 10:50 AM

Partnership Will Help Bring Solar Technology to More DFA Farms

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national farmer-owned dairy cooperative, and Third Sun Solar, an Ohio-based full-service clean energy company serving homeowners, businesses, institutions and government entities across the Midwest, have teamed up to help bring solar panel technology to more DFA member farms.

The partnership will provide DFA members in DFA’s Mideast Area with access to project planning, development, support and discounted pricing for on-farm solar power programs. Additionally, Third Sun Solar will assist in identifying incentives that can further supplement the cost of solar technology to DFA members.

“We are seeing a lot of interest in renewable energy as many of our farmers today are looking for ways to save money, increase self-reliance and operate their farms in more environmentally-friendly ways,” said David Darr, president of farm services at DFA. “Through this partnership with Third Sun Solar, we hope to make solar technology more mainstream as the economic and environmental opportunities for farmers are incredibly beneficial.”

DFA member Gary Kibler of Kibler Dairy Farm in Warren, Ohio recently worked with Third Sun Solar to install 480 solar panels at their family farm. According to Third Sun Solar, the panels will provide 163.2 kilowatts of power, which should mean monthly savings in the thousands for a farm of this size. In fact, the first year alone should provide more than $23,000 in avoided electrical payments that can then be reinvested back into the farm. In turn, this should offset approximately 120 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

“Family farms can be the essence of going green, and dairy farms, in particular, are an untapped resource to bring more renewable energy to the heartland,” said Michelle Greenfield, co-founder, Third Sun Solar. “What’s more, panels are far more durable now than 15 or even five years ago. So, with panel prices half of what they used to be, solar is far more attainable for farmers looking to reduce their carbon footprint.”

For more information about solar panel technology and renewable energy, visit

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is a national dairy marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by more than 13,000 members on nearly 8,000 farms in 48 states. DFA also is one of the country’s most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients, and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products. For more information, call 1-888-DFA-MILK (332-6455) or visit

Third Sun Solar is a full-service clean energy company serving homeowners, businesses, institutions and government entities across the Midwest. It is a licensed electrical and general contractor that has installed more than 800 projects and 1,200 kWs of solar energy systems in 14 states since our start in 2000. Additionally, Third Sun Solar is a woman-owned, certified B-Corporation with the mission to accelerate the shift to clean energy. Its team of solar consultants, designers, financing experts and NABCEP-certified installers work to make solar easy by delivering high performance and long lasting solar solutions using its optimized design process.