Four Hills Farm was founded in 1971 with 30 cows. It has since grown to include 1600 milking cows and 1600 heifers over nearly 5,000 acres. In 2012, the farm decided to add a mixed plug flow anaerobic digester with the goal of reducing farms odors, producing bedding, and enhancing the farm’s overall revenue, all of which have been achieved so far.
Consequently, Four Hills Farm has significantly reduced its environmental footprint over time. They have been able to save on fossil fuel costs thanks to their ability to heat the milk house from waste heat from the generator. They are looking to add solar on the roof of their new barn and currently have a zero power bill! They have also noticed that the digested manure can move farther, since it is pumped to satellite pits instead of being trucked to another farm, so they reduce their fuel consumption in this arena as well.
IFES Number: 72
Type of Firm: Farm
Main Products: Dairy; bedding
Size of Firm: 1600 milking cows; 4623 acres
Ownership Type: Private
Energy System Components: Anaerobic digester
Year Installed: 2012
Energy Feedstock: Manure from 1,200 cows
Energy Produced: 2,505,007 kWh/yr
Energy Uses: Cogeneration
New co-products: Bedding
TCO2 Eq Avoided: 3,815 CO2E/yr