Green Dream Farm Methane ReductionHB
Vermont dairy farm reduces methane and water pollution while increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
Carbon Project Type: Manure Separation, Composting, and Bedding Material Production
Location: Enosburg Falls, Vermont
Volume: 9,040 metric tonnes
Standard: Verified Carbon Standard
Social and Community Co-benefits:
- Reduced discharge of excess nutrients into soils and waterways
- Added economic stability for small farms
The Green Dream Farm in rural northern Vermont is owned and operated by Chris and Anne Wagner. The 375-head dairy farm supplies the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, which Ben & Jerry’s relies on for milk supply.
Ben & Jerry’s created the Caring Dairy Program to support sustainability initiatives on supply farms. The Green Dream Farm Methane Reduction Project is an exemplary case of on-farm sustainability activities intended by the Caring Dairy Program. Ben & Jerry’s early seed funding was essential in getting the project launched.
Economic pressure on small and medium-sized farms has contributed to a steady decrease in the number of farms in Vermont and across the country. Vermont has long valued its agricultural working landscape, and farms are fundamental to the culture and economy of the state. Increasingly, farms rely on innovative solutions like methane reduction to strengthen relationships with customers, decrease expenses, improve profitability, and meet sustainability goals.
The Green Dream Methane Reduction Project sets out to eliminate the equivalent of 9,040 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide through a low-tech solution that separates manure solids and composts them into sanitary bedding material for livestock.
The project will produce enough bedding both for Green Dream Farm and for several neighboring farms, which will be able to reduce their bedding costs by buying from Green Dream Farm.
The distinctive Help Build™ model at NativeEnergy provides upfront funding for the separator, composter and related system equipment in exchange for the environmental attributes in the form of certified carbon offsets. The carbon finance mechanism enables the Green Dream Farm to reduce the output of greenhouse gas and water pollutants they would not otherwise have the means to do.
The 375 cows on the Green Dream Farm produce 3.4 million gallons of effluent per year. The manure separation process removes 50% of the manure solids and reduces the total waste volume by 20%.
Extracted solids are composted and used as sanitary bedding for the cows. With fewer solids there is a decrease in anaerobic decomposition and a reduction in the production of methane emissions.
Through this project, the Green Dream farm is likely to see significant savings each year in the cost of spreading manure on fields. The project is also expected to deliver additional savings each year in offsetting the cost of sawdust bedding.
Each cow produces 2-3 times the bedding material it requires, generating a product that offers revenue potential through the sale of bedding to neighboring farms.
Validation and Verification
The Green Dream Farm Methane Reduction Project has been validated and verified to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). Verifications will continue periodically throughout the project life.
In addition to meeting the stringent requirements of VCS, NativeEnergy has reviewed the project’s finances to ensure that the Green Dream Farm Methane Reduction Project would not have been implemented without the sale of its carbon offsets. This means investing in the Green Dream Farm Methane Reduction Project is truly an incremental greenhouse gas reduction.
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