Sustainable Story

Crave Dairy Farm Anaerobic Manure Digester

Our computer controlled anaerobic digestion system generates enough electricity to power our farm, cheese factory, and 300 area homes.

Owned and installed by Clear Horizons, a Wisconsin firm that specializes in organic waste management solutions and biogas energy systems, it is computer controlled over the Internet from the company's office in Milwaukee.

Anaerobic (oxygen-free) digestion is a biological process in which microorganisms break down organic waste in a process that ultimately produces gas, mainly methane with some carbon dioxide. This gas can be burned just like natural gas, thus generating energy.

The digester helps manage our farm's manure, it provides clean, renewable energy for the farm, and produces excess electricity, which Clear Horizons sells on the grid.

The digester reduces odor from the manure and also provides some saleable products. We use the liquid byproducts as fertilizer on our fields and the solid byproducts (dry organic matter) are used as animal bedding and in a line of organic potting soil.

Diagram of a Typical Biogas Energy System

Related News

Click here to view our NBC Nightly News segment called, "Making a Difference" about converting cow manure into electricity to power our farm and cheese factory.

Press Release, "From Cow Pies to Clear Skies"