Chaput Family Farms is a first-generation farm where the two brothers who were born on the farm represent the current farm owners. They have been working together for the past 35 years, and in 1994 they decided to consolidate their five small dairies into one larger one. 2015 represented a record year for them in terms of their milk production when they broke 23 million gallons for the first time.
In 2007, the brothers started investigative work on building a digester for the farm. In 2008 they started looking at permits, and in 2009 they began the complete mix digester’s construction, which became complete the following year. Some of the positive results from the digester include that the bedding produced has proved to be a better product than its market equivalent due to its “sterile” nature. And although they didn’t consider the odor-reduction factor of the digester initially, they were pleasantly surprised that it directly led to decreased complaints from neighbors. The most significant result was in terms of enhanced revenue– the brothers question whether they’d be in business today if it weren’t for the digester!
IFES Number: 70
City: North Troy
Type of Firm: Farm
Main Products: Dairy
Size of Firm: 850 milking cows; 1,920 total acres
Ownership Type: private
Energy System Components: Anaerobic digester
Operational Status: Operational
Year Installed: 2010
Energy Feedstock: 1000 animal units of cow manure; 2,000 gallons/day of wastewater; 6,000 gallons/wk of fish waste
Energy Produced: Biogas: 111,114 cu_ft/day; Electricity: 1,536,504 kWh/yr net to grid
New co-products: Bedding (which they don't sell)
TCO2 Eq Avoided: 9,226 CO2E/yr