CASHTON – Jessica Anderson has a natural connection to the farmers she serves as an energy advisor for Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program.
“I relate to their get-down-to-business approach,” said the former 4-H and FFA member who resides in Cashton. “I’m looking to help them save money and move forward with energy efficiency projects that might not otherwise get accomplished.”
Focus on Energy is a statewide program that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy, funded by Wisconsin utilities. Anderson works for Focus on Energy’s Agriculture, Schools and Government program, implemented by CESA 10.
“I take a different approach with my ag clients,” explained Anderson. “School districts and local governments often have an energy or maintenance manager on staff. Whereas I appreciate that farmers have to be a jack of all trades, managing staff, fixing equipment and raising crops and livestock. I like to be hands on with farmers, which includes helping with any paperwork required to receive Focus on Energy incentives.”
“I wish farmers knew the cost associated with waiting to upgrade their equipment to something more energy efficient,” she explained. “Every day they wait is a day they could have saved money on their electric bill. Our incentives help make the upfront investment in equipment.”
“Maintenance is something I stress. Keeping light fixtures, fan blades and milk cooling equipment clean and free of dust, dirt and debris improves equipment performance and its useful life,” Anderson added. “Built up dust and debris blocks airflow and causes equipment to run at increased temperatures.”
Anderson’s passion for rural Wisconsin and interest in how mechanical equipment in buildings can aid the conservation of natural resources make her well suited for her job.
Splitting her work time between trade shows, educational conferences, training seminars, on-farm visits and media interviews comes naturally to Anderson. The Bangor native’s resume includes reining as the La Crosse Interstate Fair’s Fairest of the Fair, an animal science degree from University of Wisconsin-River Falls, a Master’s degree in agricultural education from Iowa State University, and working as a child care assistant director. All of this occurred before returning to Wisconsin to work as an energy advisor in 2014.
As a young 4-H member Anderson tried her hand at showing rabbits and goats. She credits her uncle with perking an interest in showing beef cattle. In high school she bought her own beef steers, boarded them at a local farm, and used to proceeds from their sale to supply her college savings account. She also worked on a dairy farm while in high school.
These days she’s engaged to Charlie Mlsna, who works at the Star Blends feed mill in Sparta. Her nieces and nephews have inspired her to sign on as a leader for the Leon Livewires 4-H Club. When time allows she also attends meetings of the Vernon County Ag Women’s Network.
Anderson’s service territory includes Adams, Green Lake, Juneau, La Crosse, Marquette, Monroe, Vernon and Waushara counties. To work with one of Focus on Energy’s energy advisors, contact 888.947.7828.
For information on how Focus on Energy can help your farm’s bottom line, visit www.focusonenergy.com/agribusiness.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.