Summit to Preserve Vermont Dairy Farms

Muir joined panel of biogas providers and developers and stressed the “farmer owned and operated” model to preserve generational farms.

Most companies are motivated by profit but there can be other rewards…

For years the American dairy industry has been in trouble. Low milk prices mean that most lose money. As a result, many generational farms are giving up and selling. Meanwhile, in countries such as Italy, farmers no longer expect to survive on milk sales alone. They instead sell the electricity and soil amendment provided by an anaerobic digester.

PlanET chemical engineer and design lead, Christie Ings attended in part to explain the potential role of digesters in reducing phosphorus levels in Lake Champlain.

American states often do not provide the subsidies and incentives farmers require to finance a digester. Vermont, however is different.  America’s most progressive dairy state, Vermont has adopted the European model of paying a high “Feed In Tariff” of as much as 19.9 cents per kW to farms that produce renewable electricity from biogas.

Recently Muir represented PlanET at the Vermont Nutrient Recovery and Digester Summit. There we distributed sales materials to interested farms. We also spoke on a panel of our competitors being the only one emphasizing the “farmer owned and operated” model. Using this model we have signed agreements with three farms to develop digesters in 2019. Sales totaling $5.8 million for our German client.

There is more to life than company profits. In Vermont, PlanET Biogas increases its bottom line while helping insure the stability of American farming. The environment benefits as well via the reduction of methane which cause global warming.