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An important event for the farm, the climate and the environment surrounding Lake Champlain.

Vermont Senator Peter Welch joined us to kickoff our anaerobic digester project which was helped by the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant we obtained for our farm client in late 2022. We were pleased to see that along with the Senator, several Vermont USDA administrators and NRCS officials visited to promote USDA’s support of farm biogas. The event was held at the picturesque “Savage View Farm” on Grand Isle, on the shores of Lake Champlain.

We had told USDA we originally visited this farm because we heard there was a school located within 100 yards of its manure pit! Hearing this, they decided to invite about 40 kids from the school to join us to learn about the biogas project 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 higher price, perhaps to more populous southern New England.

Television crews from three stations covered the event as well as other media. Dairy farming remains an important part of the Vermont brand. As a result, state incentives, including a 20-year power purchase agreement, can be combined with federal grants on methane digester projects. These are long standing programs, now much better funded, due to the Inflation Reduction Act.

Following permitting, construction is expected to start and the bio-digester launched in 2024. Senator Welch posted this article on his Senate website.

Senator Peter Welch (left) stopped by with Vermont agriculture officials to congratulate Dwight Bullis (right), on receiving a REAP grant to help fund the all manure digester for 875 milking cows on his Grand Isle farm.

Agricultural Digesters’ engineering consultant John Forcier (right) spoke as did Jim Muir (center). Senator Welch, Sarah Waring, Director for USDA Rural Development and Travis Thomason, Vermont’s State Conservationist also commented. Other agriculture officials attended to express their support.

Students from the Grand Isle Elementary School, many from farming families, look forward to the launch of the methane digester next door. It will reduce global warming, produce green energy and make their education more pleasant by reducing manure odors over 85%.