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When Wind Power Meets Organic Agriculture (press release)

Thursday, June 22, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: health news, Natural News, nutrition

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Big Sandy, MT (June 22, 2006) -- When Bob Quinn decided to research his family roots in Germany, little did he know he would find not only a cousin, but a kindred spirit. Today, Quinn, his cousin and another German partner can take pride with the fact that they initiated Montana's first and largest wind farm. Judith Gap Wind Farm provides 135 megawatts of electricity to 300,000 customers in central and western Montana. The $150 million project proudly joins the $US 1.5 billion wind power industry.

"Montana will be a leader in energy," said Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. "In one day, the Judith Gap Wind Energy Center took Montana from 50th to 15th in wind energy production nationwide. I am committed to promoting renewable energy development in Montana, including wind." The governor has recently made headlines in promoting the development of a coal to liquids facility as a bridge from the petroleum economy to new sustainable energy and as an important step in reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Quinn sees the Judith Gap Wind Farm as part of Montana's growing leadership position in developing projects focusing on sustainable living concepts. Quinn made a name for himself in the organic farming industry where he is well-known for advancing sustainable agriculture and proving that it can be profitable, successful and fun. Another first, Quinn brought a non-hybrid type of ancient Egyptian wheat, marketing it under the name Kamut, into the forefront. As a Kamut grain grower, he encouraged other farmers to become involved. Now, 20 years later, there are over 110 Kamut grain growers in North America and Australia. Kamut grain is used in over 400 products like organic breads, pastries, cereals, snacks, and even drinks, soups, and seitan. This was his first commercial venture into making sustainability profitable.

When Bob met his distant cousin they soon realized that sustainability was their common passion. von Wedel had just completed a wind park on his farm in Northern Germany, near Wilhelmshavan. Bob explained his involvement in U.S. organic farming and the legislation of the U.S. National Organic Act. He was also one of the founding members of the NOSB (National Organic Standards Board).

"We just looked at each other and were amazed that we were working with the same philosophical concept: sustainability," explains Quinn, a fourth generation Montana farmer. "We were just applying it to different aspects of life, culture and the environment. It has been so exciting to see how a simple trip to find family history, led to the creation of a wind park in Montana."

Quinn and the team worked for five years on the project. Eventually, the project was sold to Invenergy, a Chicago firm, who became the builder and now operates the wind park.

"I can foresee a time when wind power, organic agriculture, and other truly sustainable concepts will be part of the same package. It's coming and as long as the wind blows and people are concerned about food quality, there will be a growing market for sustainable choices. It's the only hope for our future."

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