Goodrich Farm receives National U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award

Farm was selected for its many sustainable initiatives including its role in a unique regional partnership

Chase and Danielle - Goodrich Farm Managed by siblings Chase and Danielle Goodrich, Goodrich Farm is a multi-generational dairy farm in Addison County milking 900 cows while caring for more than 2,000 acres of land. (Courtesy Photo)

SALISBURY, VT. — Goodrich Farm has been recognized with a 2021 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability. The farm was one of three farms chosen nationally to receive the award and was selected for its many sustainable initiatives including its role in a unique regional partnership to create renewable energy, recycle food waste, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the creation of one of the largest on-farm anaerobic digesters in the U.S.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®, established under the leadership of dairy farmers, announced its tenth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards on June 14. The program recognizes dairy farms, businesses, and partnerships whose sustainable practices positively impact the health and well-being of consumers, communities, animals, and the environment.

Goodrich Farm is leading the way in New England. Alongside its partners, the farm launched a 1.32-million-gallon anaerobic digester in 2020 that can produce 180,000 Mcf of renewable natural gas annually. This partnership brings together Goodrich Farm, which hosts the digester, Vanguard Renewables, developer, owner, and operator of the digester, Vermont Gas Systems, and Middlebury College, which will purchase much of the renewable natural gas produced at the digester.

At the anaerobic digester, methane-emitting cow manure and food waste are recycled into carbon-negative renewable natural gas (RNG). The RNG travels by pipeline to Middlebury College’s nearby power plant, bringing the college closer to reaching its 10-year goal to power the campus with 100 percent renewable energy.

“As a part of the agricultural community, we’ve done better in Vermont at showing the public the work we’re putting in.  We want to be good stewards of the land, we want to implement good practices,” explained Chase Goodrich.  “We want our neighbors to see we’re making a great quality product in a responsible way.”

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