Farmers are among the world’s hardest workers – and many are under financial pressure. There is also no question there is a proven, yet little utilized revenue source available to them – biogas. (Photo above, Jim Muir with Congressman Joe Courtney in agricultural region of Connecticut.)
Manure and organic waste exist worldwide, but in the past only Europe widely converted it into energy, animal bedding, organic compost, heat etc. Why is that?
To our mind it has been a lack of information and hands-on support – and that is what Agricultural Digesters was created to provide. Since the success of any digester depends on a farm’s future existence, our company prioritizes the financial benefit to each client. Benefits that have greatly increased with the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. Our business models remain “farmer owned” and “partnership” so that farmers receive significant financial value to pay both bills and workers in the future.
Coordinated by Jim Muir, our team consists of independent professionals specializing in grant acquisition, finance, engineering, nutrient management and environmental financial benefits who consult on an “as needed” basis to control project costs.
Jim Muir – Director, Marketing and Development
After many years of international marketing work, Jim took America’s oldest biogas technology provider, RCM Digesters, which had sold fewer than 100 digesters, as a client. He then promoted RCM systems globally before shifting his focus to the Northeast, USA. Jim sold four in southern New England in 2017. One became the first modern farm digester in Connecticut.
In 2017 RCM was absorbed by another company and Muir took as a client PlanET Biogas, a major international technology provider based in Germany with North American offices in the Toronto/Buffalo area. They had built over 550 systems worldwide. This was a comfortable fit since Jim’s company, Muir Marketing Solutions, had helped foreign manufacturers expand in America for decades. For PlanET he focused on sales in the Northeast, USA.
Seeing a need, Jim then founded Agricultural Digesters LLC in 2019 as a full-service development company, While the company is independent, they have contracted to offer a unique, affordable. steel digester to smaller farms. This technology is provided by Biogest, an Austrian technology provider with offices in Denver, Colorado.
Nathan R. – Project Consulting and Grant Facilitation
Nathan is a Senior Vice President for Farm Credit East and responsible for bringing resources to Farm Credit’s clients who are planning or undergoing major business changes. Many of the projects that Nathan has worked on involve farm based renewable energy systems. He is a frequent speaker in state, national and international forums on such topics as renewable energy, agriculture policy and economic development. He also currently serves on the national steering committee for 25 X 25, a group of industry leaders dedicated to fostering Agriculture and Forestry’s role in U.S. energy independence, chairs their Carbon Work Group and serves on their CLEAN energy task force.
Nathan served as Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets for The State of New York. He also served as President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Much of his experience in the private sector has involved the dairy industry and agricultural economics. He was born and raised on a dairy and cash crop farm in Pavilion (Wyoming County), New York and is a graduate of Cornell University,
John F. – Engineering, Construction/assembly and Operational Supervision
John has a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Vermont and has more than 50 years of experience in the planning, design, permitting and construction of small through multi-million dollar municipal and private renewable energy, biogas, anaerobic digester and wastewater projects throughout the U.S.A., Mexico and the Caribbean. The project delivery methods include design/bid/build, design/build (EPC) and construction management.
He was honored for the American Council of Engineering Companies’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2021 and has worked on anaerobic digester projects in 16 states plus Mexico and the Caribbean with related anaerobic digester/biogas experience that includes over 70 farm-based, commercial, industrial, municipal and wastewater treatment facility AD systems. John is also a subject matter expert in anaerobic digesters, biogas and wastewater treatment facilities for due diligence, independent engineering studies and mediation/litigation cases throughout the U.S.A.
Patrick W. – Environmental Benefits Monetization
Pat is a New Englander with a unique niche specializing in agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting. His national work focuses on creating environmental commodities from dairy biogas. He assists farms that operate methane digesters and generate renewable natural gas (RNG) or electricity from the biogas. Pat enables our clients to create and sell carbon offsets, Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS) credits, and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). He also analyzes the opportunities provided by the Renewable Fuels Standard Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market.
Chantal B. – Grant Writer.
Chantal recently completed our four REAP grant applications for farms in northern New England ranging from 300 to 1,200 milking cows. The financial incentives recently increased to 50% of each project with an upper limit of $1 million, which makes her contribution to our clients critically important. Through her lifelong association with dairy farms, Chantal knows the mindset of farmers and visits many in person.
Her background also includes work on other biogas projects so she contributes significantly to the feasibility studies that are a key element of most agricultural grants.
Jedd M. – Manure Management Specialist at Biogas Farms
Jedd has many years’ experience at northeast farms with digesters. His work has been centered in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania which contains one of America’s few digester clusters. He is a graduate of Penn State University with a BS in Soil Science who earlier in his career worked for USDA/NRCS. Jedd is a nationally certified soil scientist, nutrient and odor management specialist, conservation planner and TSP in multiple states.
He has published research with Penn State about the properties of digestate and prepared customized reports for Agricultural Digesters LLC.
Anju K. PhD – Secondary Separation of Digested Liquids
Anju offers farms the opportunity to further separate their digested liquids by isolating the phosphorus content into a high strength, granular, organic fertilizer. This is a much needed nutrient management step especially valuable where phosphorus runoff into water bodies is a serious environmental issue. The amount of phosphorus separated can be controlled and the packaged end product can be sold or added to compost.
She has more than 23 years experience in the biology, biochemistry, microbiology, environmental pollution, nutrient recovery and waste to value areas. She has led several nutrient recovery projects supported by USDA, supply chain, industry partners, stakeholders and regulatory agencies. Anju also has taught nutrient and related topics as adjunct faculty at the University of Vermont.
Along with the colleagues mentioned above, Agricultural Digesters LLC provides support to its clients in the areas of permitting, utility interconnection, system operation and construction/assembly.
Video summarizes revenue streams and development steps for launching a digester.
John Muir, famous Scottish/American (1838-1914) devoted his life’s work to preserving the environment. He was the “Father of America’s National Parks”, founder of the Sierra Club and advisor to President Theodore Roosevelt. Though probably not related, we are also proud to work toward environmental preservation by improving water quality as well as removing the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.