From Carol Gruba:

Prairie winds were in full force when a Next Step Wisconsin group visited the Montfort Wind farm on July 25. Carol Gruba gathered the fourteen wind watchers who hailed from Dodgeville, Chicago, UW Madison, The Natural Step Monona, MATC Madison, and the Madison Area Permaculture Guild.

The enthusiastic wind tourists peppered their guide Carol Anderson with questions about the wind plant, and Carol readily answered. She owns the land that is underneath 4 of the GE turbines owned by NextEra, and she has compiled information and photographs on the wind farm since its construction. She hosts about 55 tours a year for elementary, high school, college, and community groups. Carol told the Next Step Wisconsin group that the wind installation was the largest wind farm in the U.S. upon its commission in summer of 2001.

Other facts about the wind farm include:

*Montfort Wind Farm turbines begin to generate electricity at a wind speed of 8.9 mph and their computer-monitored blades ensure they safely cease operation at 56 mph
*Each 1.5 mW turbine generates enough electricity to power 350 homes
*The 20 wind turbines operate optimally at a speed of 26.8 mph.
*6 land owners lease land to NextEra for the 20 wind farm turbines

Carol Anderson rotates her family’s 550 acre Montfort-area farm through soybeans and corn with the help of her brother. She is a retired Cornell professor of human development and former Associate Director of Cornell’s Cooperative Extension.

To register your interest in future green road trips or find more information on the trip’s sponsor, The Next Step Wisconsin, visit