The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has awarded Vermont’s Goodrich Farm with the 2021 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award. The farm’s anaerobic digester (the result of a partnership with Vanguard Renewables, Middlebury College and Vermont Gas Systems) produces 180,000 Mcf of renewable natural gas and features the state’s first-ever phosphorus removal system, which protects the Lake Champlain watershed.
Anson Tebbetts, secretary for Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, said a statement that the Goodrich Family is “invested in the future.” Siblings Chase and Danielle Goodrich and their family “knew [the digester project] would create a positive path for their multi-generational family farm. But the project is also about their neighbors and the community including a major college institution.”
Chase Goodrich said the hosting of the digester was a solution to two of the business’s biggest challenges – the volatility of the dairy business, as well as scrutiny regarding its environmental impact. “Hosting the anaerobic digester diversifies our income, improves our carbon footprint while protecting water quality, and makes us better neighbors, farmers, and animal owners.”
Goodrich Farm is one of three 2021 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability winners across the U.S. and the only winner in New England.