From left: Duane Stoltzfus, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Glenn Stoltzfus on Pennwood Dairy Farms Berlin, PA during Secretary Vilsackâs visit on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. The Secretary highlighted the U.S. Department of Agricultureâs (USDA)energy efficiency programs and announced a new effort to help rural consumers make affordable, energy-efficient improvements to their homes and businesses. The Stoltzfusâ use an anaerobic digester to produce energy to operate the farm. The digester produces one million kilowatt hours; half of the energy needs of the farm, the other five hundred thousand kilowatt hours are sold back to the grid. An anaerobic digester is a component of a waste management system that provides biological treatment in the absence of oxygen. The digester captures biogas for energy production, manages odors, reduces the net effect of greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces pathogens. The anaerobic digester practice is part of a planned conservation management system that manages manure and/or comprehensive nutrient management system. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.
April 18, 2014
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