Project Description

Jordan Dairy Farms in Rutland, Massachusetts, founded in 1885, has been operated by the Jordan family for six generations. The farm is a member of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). Operated by brothers Randy and Brian Jordan, the farm has survived despite an extraordinary decline in dairy farm numbers across Massachusetts.

Prior to becoming a part of the Vanguard Renewables partnership, Jordan Dairy Farm’s monthly electric cost alone was more than $2,400. Partnering with Vanguard on the Farm Powered anaerobic digester project, the farm now receives low-cost energy, hot water, and heat for reuse.

Nearly 22,000 tons of food waste and beverage waste is collected annually from food processors and users is combined with more than 9,000 tons of manure a year from the farm in a 500,000-gallon digestion tank. Manure and food waste are mixed and microorganisms convert sugars, fats, and other compounds into biogas annually producing more than 4,200 MWh of renewable energy and odor-free, low-carbon, liquid fertilizer to enhance soil health and increase crop yields. The anaerobic digester has revolutionized how the farm gets power, while fitting seamlessly into this quintessential New England dairy farm.

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FARM FACTS

  • 950-acre dairy farm
  • 800 Holstein cows/300 milked 3X daily
  • 700 Hybrid Double Breasted White Turkeys
  • Founded in early 1885
  • Located in the Rutland, Mass.
  • Member of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) Cooperative

DIGESTER FACTS

  • Built 2011, expanded 2016
  • 500,000-gallon capacity

FARM BENEFITS

  • Income diversification
  • Low carbon fertilizer to increase crop yields and protect area soils
  • Odor reduction
  • Reduction in chemical fertilizer use
  • Enhanced nutrient management plan
  • Heat reuse

Annual Digester Input

9,125 tons of manure
20,000 tons of food waste

Annual Digester Output

Powers two engines producing 800kW
4,200 MWh of renewable energy
Offsets 770 tons of CO2 emissions; the equivalent of taking
170 cars off the road for one year

Provides energy via net metering credits to area businesses including Polar Beverages and Wachusett Brewing Company

Jordan Dairy Farms in the News

Farmers Benefit from Farm Powered Anaerobic Digestion

Farmers talk about the benefits of hosting a Farm Powered anaerobic digester on their farm including a diversified income stream to sustain the farm for future generations. They also reflect on overall benefits to the farm including regenerative agriculture best practices, increased crop yields and milk production, herd health, greenhouse gas reduction, manure management, and community relations.

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