Department Awards $1.5 Million Animal Waste Technology Grant to Cecil County Dairy Farm
ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 13, 2023) – The Maryland Department of Agriculture has awarded a $1.5 million Animal Waste Technology Grant to Long Green Farms, Inc. to install an on-farm anaerobic digester at its 145-head dairy operation in Cecil County. The award is part of the state’s ongoing commitment to managing animal manure, protecting natural resources, and pursuing clean, renewable energy sources.
“Investing in new technologies to help Maryland farmers grow smarter and farm cleaner is a top priority for the Moore-Miller Administration. This project will turn manure produced by the dairy herd into a clean energy source that will provide a reliable power supply for the farm throughout the year,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “Importantly, the project will also provide carbon and soil health benefits by recycling leftover materials from the anaerobic digestion process as a fertilizer and soil amendment.”
This project includes the installation of Maryland’s first small scale anaerobic digester known as Scalable Modular Anaerobic Recycling Technology, to convert dairy manure into energy. The system will generate up to 80 kW of electricity for the farm. Any excess electricity will be sold to the local utility. In addition, a manure solids separator will be installed to allow the farm to safely recycle leftover materials from the digestion process as bedding for heifers. Funding and technical support for the manure solids separator will be provided by the Cecil Soil Conservation District.
Long Green Farms, Inc. is owned and operated by Caleb and Alice Crothers. It is Maryland’s oldest continually operating dairy farm and the 2022 recipient of the prestigious Aldo Leopold Conservation Award. Approximately 560 acres of the property are permanently protected as farmland with the Cecil Land Trust.
The department requested Animal Waste Technology Fund proposals in September 2022 and received six pre-proposals. The technical review subcommittee evaluated each project and recommended 4 projects be invited to submit a full proposal. The Long Green Farm project received unanimous support from the Advisory Committee for FY 2023 funding, which will be leveraged against multiple sources.
The Animal Waste Technology Fund provides seed funding to companies that demonstrate innovative technologies on farms and alternative strategies for managing animal manure. These technologies may generate energy from animal manure, reduce on-farm waste streams, or repurpose manure by creating marketable fertilizer products. Program funding is provided by the Maryland Energy Administration and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. For more information, please visit the department’s website.
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