The Young family successfully manages Twin Birch Dairy in Skaneateles with over 20 full time employees and 2,000 head of cattle and 2,500 acres of land.
Twin Birch Dairy strives to be environmentally conscious and in 2002, the farm was awarded the Conservation Farm of the Year Award by the Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District and is continuously identified as one of the cutting edge, environmentally conscious farm operations in the country today.
The Dairy installed an anaerobic digester in 2006, which uses methane gas from cow manure to power an electrical generator for the majority of the Farm’s energy needs. In addition to reduced electricity cost, additional advantages of the system include better nutrient uptake of manure, less odors, pumpable manure and bedding material for the cows.
Address: 1840 Benson Road, Skaneateles
Alternative Energy: Cow Manure: Biogas from Anaerobic Digester. The farm uses methane from cow manure to fuel a 225 kw generator. They produce enough electricity to power 164 homes year round. In the process of this conversion they are destroying methane, which is a harmful greenhouse gas.
Date of Installation: 2006
Installer: Twin Birch Dairy
Financial Information: The approximate cost of the system was $1.35 Million Dollars. Section 1603 of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) paid 30% of the project cost. (The purpose of the 1603 payment is to reimburse eligible applicants for a portion of the cost of installing specified energy property used in a trade or business or for the production of income. A 1603 payment is made after the energy property is placed in service; a 1603 payment is not made prior to or during construction of the energy property.)
Energy/Cost Savings: Twin Birch Dairy was spending approximately $120,000 per year on electricity, their bills are now $8,000 per year, with savings of a minimum of $112,000 per year.
Twin Birch Dairy will be available for farm tours on October 5 from Noon until 4 pm and will have chocolate and white milk with cookies available. They will also be offering free digested manure, which makes great compost. If you are interested in the manure please bring your own bags (BYOB) or a pick up truck and the farm personnel will load.