Holstein dairy cattle at Pennwood Dairy Farms owned and operated by the Stoltzfus family in Berlin, PA. The cattle produce the source material, manure, for the anaerobic digester the dairy uses to produce energy for the dairy. 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. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the dairy on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. During his visit Secretary Vilsack 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. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.
May 5, 2014
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