The USDA honored Corey Marzolf last Wednesday for his determination in making his implement business more energy efficient.  From left, are Spring Valley economic development director Cathy Enerson, representative of Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office Chuck Ackman, regional USDA representative Naomi Lenz, USDA Minnesota Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer, Corey Marzolf and  Fillmore County economic director Cris Gastner.
The USDA honored Corey Marzolf last Wednesday for his determination in making his implement business more energy efficient. From left, are Spring Valley economic development director Cathy Enerson, representative of Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office Chuck Ackman, regional USDA representative Naomi Lenz, USDA Minnesota Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer, Corey Marzolf and Fillmore County economic director Cris Gastner.
"A blessing in disguise."

This is how Corey Marzolf, owner of Marzolf Implement in Spring Valley, explained the events of Dec. 22, 2010, to USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer and others, who gathered to commemorate Marzolf's new energy efficient facility.

Those events were the culmination of heavy snow early in the winter season, which ultimately caused the roof of the repair shop to collapse. Thankfully, the damage happened in the early morning hours before workers arrived to the business.

The rebuilding process started in August of 2011 and was completed in December of that year. The previous building was built in 1976 and while it was great for that time it was not efficient as the more modern version.

"I think businesses today that are going to survive have to find ways to be more efficient. You make money by saving money," Marzolf said of his decision to build a space that is heat, air and light efficient.

Marzolf credits Spring Valley economic development director Cathy Enerson, Fillmore County economic director Cris Gastner and local USDA rep Naomi Lenz for their help in finding and applying for the USDA Rural Development's Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) grant.

He calls Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) representative Steve Almos instrumental in the project, as well. Almos went through the entire implement and did an energy audit, which found numerous ways for the business to save money through more efficient practices.

Features now include a 95 percent efficient boiler, in-floor heat, large ceiling fans and twice the shop space. By creating a long-term solution for his energy savings, Marzolf estimates his annual saving to be over $5,000.

"It's been a good learning experience. It happened and it was kind of a blow to the system when you first deal with it because you have to make a lot of decisions in a short time. But here we are today and we have heat efficiency, air efficiency and lighting efficiency," Marzolf concluded.