CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Theron and Jeanie Rowbotham of Infinity Ranch in Hagersville, Arkansas, are the eighth generation to call their slice of farmland home, and they’re making strides to give it economic stability for many years to come. The Rowbothams share how installing solar panels on the farm has impacted its future in the latest segment of “Good Roots” premiering Friday, July 15, during “Arkansas Week” at 7:30 p.m. on Arkansas PBS and livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch.
“To be a sustainable farm, you have to make investments for the future and can’t be worried about the short term,” Theron said.
That’s just what they did. A few years ago, Theron and Jeanie decided to install solar panels on their farm to power the turkey houses where they grow for Butterball. Economics certainly played a role in the decision – once the initial investment is paid off, their energy bills could potentially be zero dollars.
But, that’s not the only reason the Rowbothams have invested in solar energy. Their focus has always been on creating a sustainable farm for their kids – Mae, age 5, and Tate, age 3 – and hopefully for the many generations that follow.
Energy is one of the largest costs for any farm. By installing solar panels, the Rowbothams have given the future generations of Infinity Ranch a lifeline to economic stability.
“As the years go on, energy costs are going to go up, everybody agrees with that,” Theron said. “But, if you put in solar and set up payments, your energy costs, in 10 years, will stay the same.
“And once you pay off the loan, your energy is basically free.”
“Good Roots,” produced in partnership with Arkansas Farm Bureau, seeks to shine a light on Arkansas’s rich rural culture and communities. Segments focus on the real stories of rural life, while addressing relevant topics like agriculture, health care, the economy, technology, policy and more. The segment airs the second Friday of each month during “Arkansas Week.” Additional information is available at myarpbs.org/GoodRoots.
Segments and bonus footage of “Good Roots” are also featured on all Arkansas PBS digital platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, the Engage Arkansas PBS app and the PBS Video app. A blog series accompanies the segments at myarkansaspbs.org.
Major funding for “Good Roots” is provided by Arkansas Farm Bureau. Additional funding for “Good Roots” is provided by the Union Pacific Foundation.
About Arkansas Farm Bureau
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization with almost 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life. Farm Bureau is an independent, voluntary organization of farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity, social advancement and promote the national well-being.
About Arkansas PBS
Arkansas PBS, Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, empowers learners of all ages by educating, informing, entertaining and inspiring communities. Arkansas PBS serves as a daily and essential resource for Arkansans by creating, sharing, celebrating and driving conversation around Arkansas stories and classic, trusted PBS programs through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at myarkansaspbs.org. Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), KETZ (El Dorado), KETS (Lee Mountain) and KETS (Forrest City).