Arizona rancher switches to solar energy thanks to federal funding

Date Creek rancher Savannah Figueroa installed solar panels used to power refrigerators, barns and other farming equipment.
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 10:13 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 23, 2023 at 9:30 AM MST
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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Agriculture brings in billions of dollars for our state each year. It also emits a lot of gasses that contribute to climate change. Date Creek rancher Savannah Figueroa is using federal dollars to reduce her carbon footprint while growing her business.

She provides meat to communities across the High Country. She and her husband take part in every step of the process, from raising the cattle to storing and selling the meat. It’s not an easy job for her or the environment, but their ranch is flipping the switch. “Our ranch is carbon positive. Meaning we store more carbon in our soil than we emit. Quite the feat for a cattle business,” said Figueroa.

Figueroa is one of the many agricultural workers finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint. She used the Rural Energy for American Program to install solar panels on their ranch. They are used to power refrigerators, barns and other equipment.

Arizona’s agricultural sector contributes more than $23 billion to the state economy, which is why Figueroa says it’s important to think about climate-smart choices at the local and federal levels. Agricultural conservation programs will get almost $20 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, and another $14 billion will go toward renewable energy.

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