Vermont Senator Welch joined us to celebrate the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant we obtained for one of our farm clients. We were pleased to hear that along with the Senator, several Vermont USDA administrators and NRCS officials wished to visit to promote this award for our digester project. The event was held at the picturesque “Savage View Farm” on Grand Isle, on the shore of Lake Champlain.
We had told USDA that we originally visited this farm because we heard there was a school located within 100 yards of its manure pit! Hearing this story, USDA decided to invite about 40 kids from the school to join us to learn about the biogas process that will soon reduce odors, mitigate greenhouse gases and increase the farm’s income through the sale of renewable energy.
To further increase income, the Savage View Farm plans to partially or fully compost excess digested manure solids on the farm, then sell the material for a high price, perhaps to more populous southern New England.
Television crews from three stations attended the event as well as other media. Dairy farming remains an important Vermont industry and part of the state’s brand. As a result, generous state incentives, including a 20-year power purchase agreement, can be combined with the federal environmental programs. Long standing programs now much better funded due to the Inflation Reduction Act.
Senator Welch later posted this article on his Senate website.