Blochowitz Family Partners with NRS

At NRS, we understand that often the legacy rural landowners hold most dear is their land. NRS partners with landowners who have served as stewards of their family’s property for years, even decades. For these landowners, legacy is an important word, an important idea. NRS strives to honor those legacies with the work that they do and the partnerships they cultivate; partnerships like the one NRS created with Connie Brown (formerly Blochowitz) and her family.

“My grandpa came out from Nebraska and purchased some land here and built a farm,” Connie said.“In the mid-seventies after my grandpa retired, my dad took over. The first pieces of our ground, we’ve had since about 1940.”

Connie’s dad took over the family farm in the mid-seventies and worked his hands to the bone to keep it profitable. The family raised dry land wheat, corn, sunflower, barley, oats, and more.

“All the ground is dry land,” Connie said. “He owns about 5,000 acres now. When a different company first came out and started talking about wind, my dad was very excited about it and signed up for it almost immediately. But it just didn’t go through. So when he heard that NRS was coming in and wanted to talk, he was one of the first people to get in line to sign up for it.”

So why would a farmer, a landowner, be so eager to sign into a wind lease?

“Mainly because farming’s hard,” Connie laughed. “So my dad was like, ‘Well, this is a way to be able to utilize the land in a different way and still keep it in the family.’ I think he was just excited because it allowed him to have another avenue, to keep the ground, and to pass on a legacy, if you will.”

Legacy is something that NRS takes seriously. For NRS, the work they do isn’t just about making a profit – it’s about honoring what has come before them, taking care of the land that generations of people have cultivated over the years, and keeping that legacy intact. Connie and her family saw this, which is one of the reasons they decided to partner with NRS.

“Their business model seemed to make more sense [than others],” Connie shared.

Communication was a key aspect of the partnership between Connie’s family and National Renewable Solutions.

“They weren’t asking for money” she said. “They reached out to landowners just to say ‘Hey, we’re not asking for capital; we’ve got that covered. We just need the land to be able to put turbines on.’ It just seemed to make more sense, and it seemed like a better thought out project. We went to several of their meetings and we were able to ask questions and talk about the previous wind farms they had set up. We looked into those and did additional research and saw that NRS was viable. Obviously they had a model that works. So we just kind of said, ‘Well, why not?’”

Communication was present at the very beginning of the partnership and maintained throughout the entire endeavor.

“Any time my husband or I have a question and we reach out to Alex, he gets right back to us and has an answer,” Connie said. “If he didn’t have an answer right away, he’d tell us that he would get back to us. He was great at communicating.”

Maintaining communication with the communities that they become a part of is extremely important to NRS; so much so that every time they partner with a community, they create an advisory board made up of community members.

“My husband and I both volunteered to be on the advisory board, just so we could stay in the loop of what was going on and so that when we were around town and saw people we knew, we could strike up conversation about whether they liked the idea or not,” Connie shared.

Being a part of the advisory board, Connie said, has been extremely helpful. She and her husband have been able to speak with their neighbors about the benefits of wind energy, and they have been able to quell some of the doubts that may have come up.

“We have several community members that are on the board who have been in the community for decades,” Connie said. “Which goes a long way in a small town because the board members are respected members of the community. They’re farmers, too. I’m sure if my dad were still here, he’d be on the board. I still feel like this is his pet project.”

It’s a project that serves Connie and her family twofold – one, she is able to earn money from her land while also contributing to a cleaner, greener, renewable future. But two, and most importantly, she is able to continue an idea that first came to her father. She’s able to work on one last project with him.

“Renewable is kind of the way the economy is going,” she said. “Everybody is looking for a different source of power; it’s happening everywhere.” Even just driving across Wyoming – in the last five years, the number of wind turbines has increased tenfold down I-80. It allows landowners to actually utilize the land, without having to work so hard to make a buck. Plus, it allows you to pass it on to a future generation in the same way.”

Connie’s dad may be gone, but his legacy remains intact. He saw the future, and he knew that it was wind energy. Connie shares that same vision, which is why she and her husband have become so involved with NRS.

If you want to find out more about National Renewable Solutions and maybe take the first steps toward creating your own legacy, visit the NRS website or follow them on Facebook.