Working with Green Mountain Power (GMP), Blue Spruce Farm, now in operation for more than a half a century, served as the pilot dairy farm for GMP's "Cow Power" program. By way of bio-digester, this process turns cow waste into energy, allowing the farm to provide about 300+ local Vermont families with electricity.
The farm has implemented new technologies in milking, milk cooling, barn construction, ventilation, water heating and lighting, reducing energy use 50% from an average of 1,000 kWh per cow per year, to an average of just 500 kWh per cow per year. These savings, in turn, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 500 pounds of CO2e per cow per year.
“We are constantly finding new and better ways to produce quality milk in a way that is good for our animals, good for the environment and good for our community.”
-Marie Audet ('Farmer Friday' Blog)
Another sustainable practice Blue Spruce Farm has taken on is Cover Crops, to help protect the soil crops are grown in and keep water supplies clean. In addition to being renewable energy experts, the Audets are also avid recyclers. The nutrient-rich byproducts from the Cow Power Process are used as fertilizer for the land, and the solid matter that remains is used as fluffy bedding for the cows, replacing a tractor-trailer load of sawdust each week.