Farm owners Bill and Brian Rowell run Green Mountain Dairy and hosted the event
‘It’s a challenge for our society to address environmental quality, as everyone has an impact. The public has been tremendously supportive of our farm, the dairy industry and the environment…’
Their farm is quite impressive, with over 1500 acres of crop land, 1100 mature Holsteins producing 22,000,000 pounds of milk annually. The herd is very healthy and productive with the average cow providing 78 pounds of milk daily with a high butterfat content of 3.7%. They ship their milk to St. Albans Co-Op, who supplies Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, who was on hand passing out free samples.
The dairy can now boast producing electricity! Energy produced since startup has been 488,450 kWh. If we all could get our average home usage to less than 500 kWh per month, then this anaerobic digester could support upwards of a 500 homes! Or, a few hundred wasteful ones…
‘There’s often a disconnect between the public and their food and energy sources,’ Said CVPS President Bob Young. CVPS and Green Mountain Dairy helped make that connection clearer on a sunny day in Sheldon.
This system is a complete circle of a wise management of resources. They can get milk from a cow, then use the waste to produce electricity. The liquid by-product of the digester is then separated. The solids are used to supplement sawdust bedding in the barns, and the liquid goes back onto the fields for fertilizer. The fields are harvested for feed and fed to the cow, and so the circle goes… Dan