Renewable Energy...
Fairbury Business Saves Their Bacon by Using Tallow Power

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development provided a grant to Feaster Foods of Fairbury that offset 25 percent of the equipment and installation costs of two renewable energy biomass boiler units.

Feaster Foods’ existing steam producing boilers, used to make bacon bits from bacon ends and pieces, were becoming obsolete. Efficient boilers capable of burning natural gas or bacon tallow were purchased. After installation, the daily price for the edible tallow by-product to that of natural gas was tracked and compared. Results revealed that burning the tallow worked very effectively. Management looked at using their own inedible waste tallow as a potential fuel source for the burners.

Approximately 40,000 pounds of waste tallow per month is today utilized as a boiler fuel source. Waste tallow now replaces approximately half of the energy needs of the processing facility. Feaster Foods is proud to be “Living Green” on Bacon Road and encourages other rural small businesses to consider implementing renewable energy technologies into their operations.

For additional information on the Section 9007 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program, contact Deb Yocum at USDA Rural Development, 100 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln, NE 68508. E-mail, or phone 402-437-5554 or on the web at

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