Dairy farm aided by $98K in incentives, grant

By David Bertola

A recent expansion at a Barre, N.Y. dairy farm was aided by $98,000 from National Grid’s energy efficiency and economic development programs.

Today, the Van Lieshout farm boasts new buildings and equipment and became the first Orleans County dairy farm to add a robotic milking system. The farm was founded in 1978 and includes nearly 500 cows.

National Grid provided $48,000 in energy efficiency incentives, which were based on installation of new equipment when the upgrade was completed in the spring. The new equipment will result in an annual estimated electricity savings of approximately $22,000.

In addition to the energy efficiency incentives, National Grid awarded the farm a $50,000 Agribusiness Productivity Program grant.

National Grid energy efficiency consultant Jay Snyder, left, addresses guests at a Van Lieshout Farm open house on Oct. 25.

Supporting the addition of robotic milking equipment at dairy farms isn’t new for National Grid, which In 2017 provided a three-phase electric power economic development grant to Friendly Acres Farms in Attica, where a similar system was installed

According to an article that appeared in dairy industry trade publication “Farm and Dairy,” robotic milking systems are costly, but can provide flexibility to family dairies, which sometimes are challenged to find and maintain consistent labor. Meanwhile, the article said, the robotic milking equipment allows dairy farmers to dedicate more time to individual cow health instead of moving cows and operating a milking parlor.

National Grid’s Agribusiness Productivity program provides rebates to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy delivery and/or productivity improvements undertaken by dairy businesses, dairy farms and controlled environment agricultural facilities located with our service territory. More information about National Grid’s economic development programs is available at www.shovelready.com

For more information about National Grid’s energy efficiency programs, visit www.nationalgridus.com or call 1-855-236-7052.