Energy Best Management Practices for Dairies

Educational workshop exploring dairy energy best management practices (BMPs), farm energy audits, and USDA energy-related incentive programs offered by USDA NRCS EQIP and through the USDA Rural Development REAP incentive program.

Content on dairy energy BMPs explored: Refrigeration heat recovery, Precoolers, VFD milk pumps, Vacuum pumps, Fans, Scroll compressors, Condenser maintenance, Water heaters, Livestock water fountains, Lighting, Air compressors, Harmonics & Stray Voltage Concerns, and Water Use Efficiency.

This workshop was offered through Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Franklin County Extension Office, and Biological Systems Engineering Department, and was sponsored by the Agricultural Energy Efficiency Initiative.

Training session speakers, included: Scott Sanford, Biological Systems Engineering – University of Wisconsin; Cynthia Martel, Franklin County, Virginia Cooperative Extension; Laurette Tucker, USDA Rural Development; Eric Capps,  District Conservationist – USDA NRCS; and John Ignosh, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech & Extension.

Across a five-point scale (1 = low, 5 = high): respondents indicated information learned from this session as a 4, knowledge of dairy energy best management practices changed from 2.6 to 4; and awareness of energy programs changed from 3.4 to 4.3. 100% of respondents also indicated that they anticipated sharing, or applying, the information learned through this workshop with others. Respondents identified specific actions they plan to take as a direct result of this workshop, including: price retrofit options, insulate hot water lines, change lightbulbs, change water heater, among others.


Energy Efficiency for Dairy Farms, Scott Sanford – University of Wisconsin

Energy Efficient Lighting, Scott Sanford – University of Wisconsin

Overview of the REAP Program from USDA, Laurette Tucker, USDA – Rural Development

Energy Audits, what are they and how can they help my farm? Josh Ludgate, Exact Energy (NRCS Technical Service Provider)

Additional Resources:

University of Wisconsin – Dairy Energy Efficiency Resource Webpage

USDA Service Center Locator

USDA Technical Service Provider Directory