Norman and Mary-Rose Audet of Bridport, Vermont purchased the Blue Spruce Farm in 1958, and they quickly went to work raising a family of five and building a farm for the ages. Of the five adult Audet children, four work full-time with their families. The fifth returns each summer to work with her family as well. And if that weren't enough, the third generation is now entering the work force. Their career choice? Return to their roots and work the family farm they love so much.
Says Marie Audet, wife of oldest son, Eugene: "This is not an easy way to make a living, and we have to become extremely efficient in every area of our operations in order to survive a volatile dairy market." How do they do this exactly? Well, the Audets are not only remarkable dairy farmers; they are also leaders in recycling and bioenergy.
The Blue Spruce Farm was the first in Vermont to install a "Cow Power" system. This means that instead of allowing tons of cow waste to emit methane and other greenhouse gases into atmosphere, the Audets worked with the Central Vermont Public Service Company to collect this waste and turn it into energy. In fact, instead of taking electricity off the grid, the Audets generate enough electricity to support the needs of some 400 families in the state. And not only that, the nutrient rich byproducts of the recycling process are used for fertilizer, and the safe and odorless solid matter that remains is used as "bedding" for the cows. Instead of spending $1,500 every week purchasing sawdust to use as bedding, the Audets now use a recycled product already available on the farm. Nothing gets ignored, nothing gets wasted. Not only are the Audets great dairy farmers, they are also blazing a trail as wonderful stewards of the environment. Learn more by visiting the Cabot Blog 'Farmer Friday' post featuring Blue Spruce Farm.
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