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Wind FarmChat + Resources

Join us we tour Jason’s farm to learn about wind energy and the differences between a windmill and turbine.

Wind is a natural resource that we use to produce electricity which is similar to other goods and services that come from agriculture. Students will explore how windmills can be used to do work and convert wind energy to mechanical energy.

Centuries ago, windmills were used to mill grain, pump water, or both. Windmills provided the power to turn large stones that were used in grinding grain. This mechanical power turned wheat, barley, corn and other grains into flour. Windmills were also attached to a well and used to pump underground water up to the surface. These types of windmills use the power of the wind to do work. Modern turbines harness the power of the wind and convert it into electricity. Students will explore the similarities and differences!


  • Windmill: a machine that uses blades to convert the energy of wind into rotational energy (energy that moves in a circle)

  • Wind turbine: a device that converts the wind's kinetic energy (energy from movement) into electrical energy.

  • Electricity: Using electrical power to energize equipment

  • Wind speed: a measure of how fast the wind blows, usually measured in MPH

  • Wind capacity: a measure of wind energy potential

  • MPH (miles per hour): a measure of speed, how many hours an object could travel in one hour

Jason raises weaned to finish hogs on his farm in Iowa. He has been raising pigs for about twenty years in the hog buildings you see in the video. 15,000 pigs make their way through Jason's farm each year. To properly care for those pigs, Jason needs access to quite a bit of electricity. To help cut down on costs and to operate more efficiently, Jason has both wind and solar energy on his farm. With the size of wind turbine on Jason's farm, he can provide electricity to about 50-60 homes!

The wind turbine is 150 feet tall and the blades span 64 feet across. The location needs to be pretty open and free of obstacles.

Jason's is a 50K Watt Turbine, but there are different sizes depending on the use. Just to give you some perspective, a light bulb uses about 8 watts of power. Wow! A 50,000-watt turbine can power a lot of light bulbs!

Continue watching the video to learn more!

I have included a few resources below to accompany the video!

1. My Family's Wind Farm:

2. Windmills Vs. Wind Turbines

3. Ag Mag: Energy


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