Pete’s Story

Pete Ferrell's family has been working the same land in Kansas' Flint Hills since 1888. Pete's grandpa issued leases to extract and sell oil from the property in the 1920s in an attempt to increase the operation's profitability.

Now, a century later, Pete believes that wind power is the greatest way to maintain the success of his family farm during a very challenging time for American agriculture.

Pete rebuffed proposals from wind businesses for many years because, like many farmers in his town, he was, at first, dubious about wind power.

But after Pete talked to other ranchers and farmers, he began to see the benefits for his family. Ultimately, in 2005 local permits were approved and turbines started to go up. There are currently 50 turbines on the Ferrell land and more than 100 more in the immediate vicinity.

As an early adopter in his county, Pete has faced stiff opposition from opponents in his community who were against development. Many of those who were vehemently opposed have now softened their views, and he often gets calls from farmers who want to replicate what he’s built. He’s been on the front lines of combating disinformation for years.

Pete is currently transferring ownership and management of his farm to the next generation and is adamant that without the wind leases, this would not be possible.

Fuel for Thought