Vermont dairy farmers hope anaerobic digester can provide financial boost


The Goodrich farm, with construction in the background.

The Goodrich farm, with construction in the background.

The project will turn cow manure and food waste into renewable natural gas, which will be sold to a nearby college.

After milk prices collapsed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Chase Goodrich knew his family’s Vermont dairy farm needed to diversify its revenue.

More than a decade later, construction is finally underway on the Goodrich Family Farm on an anaerobic digester that will turn cow manure and food waste into a renewable natural fuel for use by a local college and gas utility.

The project comes as dairy farmers are again struggling through a crisis in the form of the coronavirus pandemic. Goodrich is hopeful the digester will provide a small financial boost, reduce the farm’s environmental impact, and maybe offer lessons for other farmers seeking revenue from renewable gas.

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