Blue Spruce Farm: 2012 Elanco Award for Outstanding Dairy
Leading the way to a sustainable future
When the three Audet brothers decided to partner with their father in the dairy business, they envisioned a future focused on natural resources and the environment. As the largest employer in their town, Bridport, Vt., they pictured a farm that would increase their labor and energy efficiency, provide the best in cow health and comfort, and produce the highest quality milk.
Today, they are admired as a pioneer in operational efficiency. Blue Spruce Farm was one of the first farms in the country to install a variable speed vacuum pump control, reducing energy used during milking by nearly 60 percent. Inspired, they pursued new technologies in lighting, milking, milk cooling, barn construction, ventilation and water heating that reduced energy use from an average of 1,000 kWh per cow per year, to an average of 500 kWh per cow per year. These savings, in turn, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 500 pounds of CO2e per cow per year.The Audets also designed systems that reuse water in many ways to reduce overall consumption and improve the water consumed by the animals.
Blue Spruce Farm is probably best known for being the first dairy to participate in Central Vermont Public Service’s groundbreaking Cow Power™ program, which allows consumers to purchase renewable energy generated on dairy farms.
The Audet family and Blue Spruce Farm have been models for the future of sustainable farming, not only for Vermont, but for communities across the country.
A Visit to Blue Spruce Farm
Leading the way to a sustainable future is exactly what this year’s winner, Blue Spruce Farms of Bridport, Va. is doing. The Audet’s shared some of their best practices during a recent visit.
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