Foster Brothers Farm Middlebury, VT
Bob Foster has been on the leading edge of dairy diversification since the early 1980s. He coined the term “Cow Power” when he saw the opportunity to source clean-burning, environmentally safe, abundant energy from right under his feet…so-to-speak. The Fosters were among the first to install an anaerobic digester on their dairy farm, which allowed them to meet their electricity needs through generators powered by methane gas released from treated cow manure. The family built one of the largest manure-based compost companies, producing and marketing Moo Doo, which is sold around the Northeast.
Foster Brothers Farm dates back to 1941 and is a fifth-generation family farm in Vermont’s beautiful Champlain Valley. Bob was raised on the farm, attended University of Vermont and has devoted his whole life to farming and supporting other farmers through work on the co-op board and other advocacy. “I enjoy the thought that we are converting solar energy into food, fiber and energy to nourish animals, plants, and people – in an environment that directly involves family,” Bob says. “I like that we create products people need.”
Risks and Rewards
“Farming uses lots of science, natural resources, animals, and people to continually make improvements in how we interact with our environment,” Bob continues. “It sounds grandiose, but really that is what farming is all about. People should also realize there are a lot of challenges and risks along the way. You cannot control all of them, but it’s a very rewarding way of life and an important aspect of our society.”
Curious about cow power? Learn more about Bob’s “Moo Doo” and the incredible impact its had on their sustainable farming practices. You can visit Fosters Brothers Farm, recognized as the 2019 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year, and learn more about their products and where to find them!