Bill Powers

I am a retired physicist, living in White, SD, where I moved with my wife and three children in 2006. Since my retirement, I have been trying to figure out how to do small scale sustainable farming. As a result, I have experience and some expertise in raising layers, meat goats, oats, field pea, soy beans, rye, millet, and alfalfa. I got into raising my own grains in an attempt to produce my own organic chicken feed. As part of this ongoing experiment, I’ve built my own winter greenhouse and low tunnel. Both projects have resulted in somewhat detailed computer models, some of which I have reported on at the annual NPSAS meeting. I received a SARE grant a number of years ago to instrument and collect data on the winter greenhouse. In the low tunnel I’ve grown tomatoes and strawberries. The tomato experiment was something of a success, the strawberry one far less so. Presently, much of my time is spent haying and trying to rid my fields of Canada Thistle. I kept bees for a number of years, none of which were able to survive the winter because of the lack of bee forage. For this reason, I am presently involved in a multi-year project to grow bee forage.

Because of a life-long interest in food coops, I was one of the founding members of the South Dakota Food Coop, and still serve on its board. I’ve been a member of DRA since moving to South Dakota, and have served on a number of DRA committees.

In my free time I try to stay in shape, keep my children sane, my wife happy, and write continuously on subjects of little interest to most people. In keeping with my background I develop computer codes, either for my own benefit or hopefully for others. Otherwise, I’m a general nuisance at various philosophy circles.

I’ve had a long standing interest in education, having nearly continuously taught something for the past 25 years, mostly on a volunteer basis. For this reason, I’m interested in following education related bills. Equally long standing is my interest in self-sufficient farming in the vein of Wendell Berry. As such, I’m interested in following energy related issues, and in particular net metering issues.



  1. Carol Hayse says:

    Bill–I would like to be in touch. I am an education activist with some expertise on education issues. I read your recent post on teacher salaries with interest. However, you cited a suspect source and I would like to talk to you about it. The National Council on Teacher Quality is a corporate-funded body whose research methods are suspect or nonexistent. I can send you some citations on this if you like. But in general, I would like to be more in touch with education issues in SD. I live in the Hills part time already but am moving to Nemo full time in June.

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