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[Podcast] Dairy industry sustainability award program celebrates 10th anniversary

Progressive Dairy Published on 22 June 2021

Hear from two guests in this commemorative podcast. The first guest is Karen Scanlon. She is the executive vice president for environmental stewardship for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. She’ll talk about the purpose of the center’s annual sustainability awards and the process that goes into selecting the winners. This year is the 10th anniversary of the awards program, so she also explains how the awards are evolving and recaps some of the projects that have won in the past.

The second guest is Chase Goodrich of Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vermont. Chase and his sister, Danielle, manage their family farm. It is one of several dairy farmer sustainability award winners this year. The farm has a 1.32-million-gallon anaerobic digester that produces renewable natural gas (RNG) from cow manure and food waste. It is one of the largest anaerobic digesters in the U.S. The digester is a partnership that brings together Goodrich Farm, Vanguard Renewables (developer, owner and operator of the digester), Vermont Gas Systems and Middlebury College, which will purchase much of the RNG produced at the digester.

 

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Season 3, Episode 20

 

Here is a breakdown of the episode:

  • Karen Scanlon, what do you do for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy [~2:00]
  • Recap the 10-year history of the center’s annual sustainability awards. [~2:45]
  • What is one of the most commonly misunderstood thing about the awards? [~6:30]
  • Who should consider applying for this award in the future? [~8:45]
  • What most impresses you about how far the industry has come in the last 10 years? [~11:00]
  • Where are we headed as an industry when it comes to sustainability? [~15:15]
  • What catches your attention about Goodrich Family Farm’s sustainability? [~18:45]
  • Chase Goodrich, tell us about Goodrich Family Farm. [~21:00]
  • Why did you apply for a sustainability award? [~22:00]
  • Explain the renewable natural gas digester that you have been working on. [~23:30]
  • What suggestions do you have for other producers who are looking for a sustainability partner like you have found in Middlebury College? [~25:00]
  • Planning for renewable energy gas from digesters – is it as bureaucratic as it’s made out to be? [~26:30]
  • How do you use satellite nutrient management ponds? [~30:00]
  • Chase, you have an accounting degree. How has that changed your perspective on farming? [~32:30]
  • What tips do you have for working together as adult siblings on the farm? [~34:00]
  • What’s a decision you need to make in the next month that you haven’t made up your mind about yet? [~36:05]
  • What’s the next big thing you’re turning your attention to now? [~37:45]
  • What are you doing in your newer barn for cow comfort? [~40:00]
  • Any tips for working with digestate or “green manure” as a bedding material? [~40:45]
  • If I were to give you $5,000 right now, what would you spend it on for your dairy? [~41:45]
  • Would you encourage others to apply for a sustainability award? [~43:30] 

 

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