From cow to creemee: A story of energy efficiency
Nothing says summer in Vermont like a classic creemee. But did you know that energy efficiency can play a big role in helping that creemee get from the cow to your hand? Here’s one example of all of the ways energy efficiency can help keep the creemees coming this season.
The dairy industry remains a significant part of Vermont’s economy, with over 80% of Vermont’s farmland dedicated to dairy. The dairy industry brings approximately $3 million in circulating cash to the state of Vermont each day.
As with any other facility – there is a lot that dairy farmers can do to reduce costs and improve energy efficiency. And the benefits are even bigger than you might expect. Improved lighting and ventilation can help a herd be more comfortable and healthy. A healthier herd may produce more milk that can be used for cheese, butter, and, of course, creemees.
Beyond the efficiency inside the dairy barn, farmers can improve refrigeration for milk cooling. Cooling costs can account for more than 25% of a dairy farm’s expenses. Efficient coolers improve the milk quality and reduce expenses on the farm.
If the dairy farm is one of the over 360 farms that belong to the St. Albans Dairy Cooperative, it will be collected and transported to their processing facility. All milk is collected from dairy farms within 48 hours of production to ensure freshness and quality. With farms around Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire, the St. Albans Co-op’s facility processes and markets approximately 400,000 gallons of milk every single day.
Since the early 2000s, St. Albans Co-op has collaborated with Efficiency Vermont on projects to minimize energy waste in their processing facility and store. Their upgrades include efficient refrigeration, lighting, and processing equipment upgrades. As they have added new buildings to their facilities, they have continued to work with Efficiency Vermont to ensure the buildings and systems are efficient. Together with their member farms, the Co-op has completed over a hundred efficiency projects. Each project helps them save money and better serve their members and the general public.
Although the milk processed by the St. Albans Cooperative is ultimately used in a wide variety of products, Vermonters turn to the creemee every summer. (If your choice is the classic maple creemee, there are numerous ways maple producers benefit from energy efficiency too!)
Next time you’re enjoying this sweet summer treat, take a moment to appreciate the energy efficiency journey that helped bring this creemee to you.