Brace Farm milks 140 Holsteins twice per day and ships 4 million pounds of milk through the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery each year. Collecting, cooling, and shipping this volume of milk is an energy-intensive process, and keeping the barns lit and properly ventilated adds to the farm’s energy needs.
Over the years, owners Alex and Michelle Brace have worked with Efficiency Vermont and Reed’s Equipment to manage their energy use.
The farm recently upgraded its:
- Plate cooler—a heat exchanger that uses well water to pre-cool milk, reducing the energy required to cool the milk in the bulk tank
- Heat recovery unit—reducing the energy needed to heat the 120-gallon water tank
- Energy-efficient exhaust fan—ensuring proper ventilation at minimal energy output
- Variable frequency drive (VFD)—installed on the milk vacuum pump, reducing electricity usage while maintaining vacuum level
- Vapor-proof lighting—saving energy through improved technology, and providing ample light levels for animals and farmers alike
Thanks to these upgrades, Brace Farm is expected to save $94,000 over the lifetime of the new equipment—savings that can be invested in other ways around the farm.