Connecticut’s Largest Dairy Farm Turns the Smell of Cow Manure Into Cash
It's a beautiful day on Connecticut's largest dairy farm, Oakridge Dairy in Ellington, where you can smell the money a mile away. The air is rich with the smell of manure from the farm's herd of 3,000 cows.
Did you know that a mature dairy cow produces approximately 65 pounds of poop every day, according to fergusonfoundation.org? So if you do the math, it translates into 195,000 pounds of manure every day at Oakridge Dairy. That is the sweet odor of cash because it will be transformed into gas sold in New Jersey.
According to the Hartford Courant, Oakridge and South Jersey Industries have joined forces to build an anaerobic digester that captures raw methane and other greenhouse gases produced by manure. Simply put, it turns cow poop into cash.
Anaerobic digestion is when bacteria break down organic matter—such as animal manure, wastewater biosolids, and food wastes—without oxygen. If cow manure is your thing, feel free to read the entire, very fascinating article. Lucky for you, it's time for some fun facts about cows:
- A heavy producing dairy cow may drink as much as 35 gallons of water daily in addition to moisture in her feed, silage, or grass.
- A cow grazes by curling her tongue around the grass and cutting it off with her lower teeth and a slight upward movement of her head. She will eat about 100 lbs. of grass a day.
- The average cow can eat about 35 lbs. of good hay a day when the grass is unavailable.