How cow manure and food waste power a 250-cow dairy farm
Fed by organic food waste and cow manure, a dairy farm in Massachusetts produces sustainable electricity that powers their own 250-cow dairy farm and home. An anaerobic digester installed right on the farm provides the power and sends additional energy back to the local community.
The dairy farm family has always tried new things, regardless of failure. This valuable trait is what encouraged the family to add the anerobic digester to their farm.
Innovative-thinking dairy farmers
Peter, an owner of the dairy, says the generations on the farm before him were forward thinkers.
“(They were) never afraid to do anything. And I think it was one of the things that enabled us to keep this farm alive for so long. (They) always had this optimism, ‘If we do something, we do it the best we can, and if it doesn’t work out, we try something else. If it works out, we do it again next year.’”
The family — Steve, Kathy and Peter — who own and operate the multi-generational dairy, have a long history of diversifying their operation to stay at the foreground of innovation — 100 years to be exact.
Now, nearly a quarter of the way into the 21st century, their latest endeavor includes a 660,000-gallon anaerobic digester tank right on their farm.
The family partnered with local renewable energy company to help with the funding, construction and supply of the anaerobic digester.