Cattle manure is an essential part of dairy production. Methane digestion of dairy cattle manure has many environmental and economic benefits, including producing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Katie Grinstead of Vir-Clar farms and her family utilize a methane digester to supply over 800 homes with power. They live really close to a high-end, privately owned lake and have a lot of neighbors close to the farm, spo they strive to be really good neighbors. Katie shares more about her farm and how the methane digester works.
The concept is collecting all the manure from the cows, which is then stored in tanks, and naturally occurring bacteria that is in the manure produces methane. All of the methane gas is collected in the roofs of the storage tanks and the methane is then pumped into a building where there are engines that produce electricity.
Grinstead explained that they sell the electricity to Alliant Energy and then Alliant distributes it out. Her farm sells all of the electricity out and even buys their own back for the farm.
“This is a great community relation partnership as people are excited to know their electricity might come from the farm down the road, says Grinstead”
Once the manure is digested, they separate the solids off and use it to bed the cows with. They then use the liquid for spreading on the fields. “It is a great story for farms in how they are great recyclers as farmers are some of the best recyclers there are,” adds Grinstead.
Her passion is promoting the agriculture industry and she loves telling her farm story to her non-farm friends. She adds to not be afraid to ask a farmer rather than google. They want to share their story with you and are passionate about what they do.
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