Gervais Family Farm was started by the current owners’ (two brothers) father in 1960 with 50 cows. There are currently two operations under the same ownership, with a total of 1000 cows. Farm 1 is the farm concerned with here, as it has an Anaerobic Digester onsite.
950 cows feed Farm 1’s mixed plug flow digester, which the brothers initially installed in hopes of reducing farm odors. Unfortunately they came to find that the resultin digestate was not indeed completely odorless, but that it still had a strong smell to it. Nevertheless, the bedding they’ve been able to produce has been a great asset to the farm, saving them lots of money on sawdust that they would otherwise have to purchase. They are also able to heat every building onsite, in addition to 50% of their hot water, and running and heating the milk house. Overall, they have enhanced their farm revenue, largely thanks to the SPEED Program, which pays more per kWh of electricity than they could have imagined.
IFES Number: 74
Type of Firm: Farm
Main Products: Dairy
Size of Firm: 1000 milking cows; 1,515 total acres
Ownership Type: Private
Year Installed: 2008
Energy Feedstock: 1150-1200 mature cows; 100% of barn effluent; 100% of wastewater; 2-3 loads/wk (@3000 gallons/load) of B&J's waste; 3-4000 gallons every-other day of Franklin Foods DAF materials
Energy Produced: Engine 1: 989,978 kWh/yr (net output to grid); Engine 2: 1,337,652 kWh/yr (“gross output”)
Energy Uses: Electricity; co-digestion
Fossil Energy Inputs Replaced: They save at least 1 barrel (200-300 gallons) of oil/month
New co-products: Bedding
TCO2 Eq Avoided: 1,911 CO2E/yr