About the Project

Peaks to Prairies is applying the Economy-Energy-Environment (E3) framework to Montana’s agricultural industry. In the fall of 2012, with a grant from EPA Region 8, we began leveraging strategic partnerships to develop and test the E3 approach in Montana agriculture.

One of these key partnerships is Montana State University Extension. With agricultural professionals in each county of the state who have an established trust relationship with producers, these agents are critical in:

  • Finding producers willing to participate in an E3 assessment;
  • Communicating the benefits of an E3 assessment and subsequent implementation of recommendations; and
  • Communicating successful outcomes to other producers in the state.

Eleven Extension Agents have been selected and trained to conduct an E3 assessment with producers in their county. The assessment identifies ways to reduce energy consumption, increase productivity, minimize carbon footprint, and drive innovation. From irrigation to lighting to hazardous waste–and every opportunity in between– we’re helping producers lean their operations with lessons learned from other industries, using strategies that meet the needs of agricultural producers. Our hope is that the results of this project can serve as a replicable model throughout the nation.

Our goal is to ensure that by participating in E3, we have put our agricultural producers in the best position possible to maximize available financial opportunities in order to implement E3 recommendations. This means that upon completion of the assessment, the producer will be eligible for USDA grant and loan opportunities as well as other programs from our E3 federal partners.

Project Coordinator Myla Kelly Discusses E3 in Montana Agriculture at the National E3 Forum

E3 Agricultural Producer Assessment Sites

About Peaks to Prairies

In cooperation with EPA Region 8 states, Peaks to Prairies encourages adoption of pollution prevention practices by citizens, small businesses, and local governments. The Center offers access to current information and contacts, encourages collaboration and leveraging of resources between programs, and builds information systems to enhance information dissemination.

Peaks to Prairies is part of the P2RX™ national network of regional centers dedicated to improving the dissemination of pollution prevention information in the service provider community. Peaks to Prairies is located at Montana State University, as part of the Extension Housing and Environmental Health Program.

About Montana State University Extension

MSU Extension is a statewide educational outreach network that applies unbiased, research-based university resources to practical needs identified by the people of Montana in their home communities.

Project Team

Not pictured: Chrissy Cook, Joe Parks, Mick Schultz