Estimated Annual Energy Generation
Dairy Digester Creates Income While Reducing Greenhouse-gas Emissions
Misty Meadow Dairy, just outside of Tillamook Oregon is home to over two thousand cows. Owned and managed by Dave & Rita Hogan, the family farm has been in business for thirty years and employs over a dozen area residents. Along with a hundred other member dairies, the farm sells its milk to the Tillamook County Creamery Association, maker of the famous cheddar cheese and other popular dairy products.
The cluster of dairy farms in the Tillamook area is what drew Farm Power Northwest founders Kevin and Daryl Maas. Farm Power specializes in building and operating dairy digesters which bring economic benefits, save time, and make farmers better neighbors. For Misty Meadow, manure is now digested at 100F for several weeks in a sealed concrete tank before going to a 16 million gallon holding tank now capped by a massive cover—it was previously open to the elements. The digestion process captures almost all the methane in the manure and prevents more than 7,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year.[i] The methane is then used to make power and renewable energy certificates.
Tillamook, a popular tourist destination on the Oregon Coast, is known for its beaches but the experience can also include manure odor and prodigious amounts of wintertime rainfall.[ii] The digester helps reduce odor while also keeping rain out of the manure, cutting the volume that must be stored and spread. The digestion process also creates a fiber product that is clean, pure and can be used horticulturally or for animal bedding.[iii] In exchange for providing cow waste, the farm will save $100,000 or more a year on bedding alone.
In addition to assisting local dairy farmers and mitigating the environmental impacts of animal agriculture, Farm Power Northwest is creating local construction and installation work and has hired a permanent local staff of three employees in the Tillamook area. The digester at Misty Meadow Dairy is the fifth Farm Power Northwest project in Washington and Oregon.