Monument Farms

Description:

Monument Farms

Monument Farms (credit: vtfarmtoplate.com)

The James and Rooney families own and manage Monument Farms, Inc., which began in 1930 three generations ago with about 20 Jersey cows, an operation that entailed bottling raw milk and selling it to hospitals and restaurants. Nowadays, the farm includes a 720-head dairy herd and a current workforce of 34 employees. They are the only large scale Vermont dairy processor that sells milk exclusively from their own herd, and they are known for producing all of Middlebury College’s milk.

 

Monument Farms Dairy is rooted in the life cycles of its cows, its land, and its family. For four generations, Monument has operated under a unique “vertical integration” system such that they grow their own feed, raise their own cows, process their own milk, and distribute their own product from Vermonters to Vermonters. 

 

In 2010, the farm began construction of an anaerobic digester onsite, which became operation in 2011. Some challenges that arose during the building process included: finding a digester site, choosing the right pumps and agitators, and enduring the cost of the CVPS interconnection. With the digester now running relatively smoothly, the farm’s goals include selling a small amount of manure solids to a local company that makes compost, and drag lining prior to digestion. They used to agitate the manure for 2 days, and now they are able to agitate and pump at the same time. They can quickly pump to a satellite pond, which allows for distributing the liquid digested manure, leads to significant time savings, and is easier to pump.

 

IFES Number: 82

City: Weybridge

State: VT

Country: USA

Type of Firm: Farm

Main Products: Dairy; compost/bedding

Size of Firm: 450-550 milking cows; 2600 acres

Ownership Type: Private

Technology: Biogas

Energy System Components: Anaerobic digester

Operational Status: Operational

Year Installed: 2011

Energy Feedstock: Manure from 500 cows; Dairy processing waste; Fats, oils & grease

Energy Produced: 845,000 kWh/yr

Energy Uses: Cogeneration

New co-products: Compost/bedding

Money Saved: $2,765,000 year to date in electricity sales

TCO2 Eq Avoided: 1,230 CO2E/yr

Website: http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/es/work/communityconnectedlearning/envs0315/monument

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