Project Exploring Benefits of Grazing Cooperative for Solar Installations

Cornell University and USDA funded a three-year, $500,000 project that will explore forming a business cooperative to provide shepherds grazing under solar arrays with coordination and logistical services. Having sheep graze under solar arrays is becoming more popular as a way to control vegetation and keep the land under solar installations in agricultural production. However, it can be a challenge for large renewable energy companies to manage the grazing services offered primarily by small-scale shepherds. This project will explore the benefits to farmers of business collaboration, not only to offer grazing services, but also to process and market lamb and wool. The project will even examine the possibility of creating a brand for sheep grazed under solar arrays.