Letters to the Editor: Wind power can benefit farmers

Since our parents started farming in Bridport in 1958, our family has maintained a strong commitment toward sustainability; doing more with less, implementing practices that reduce energy use, and waste while improving our animals’ health and comfort and protecting our environment. We were so delighted with the results of our “Cow Power” project that in May of 2013 we collaborated with Green Mountain Power to install a wind turbine designed and manufactured in Barre, Vt., by Northern Power Systems.
We were disappointed when we learned that the Public Service Board proposed new wind rules that would likely prevent other dairy farmers from making the same energy choices we did. The PSB proposal is unrealistic, and creates needless barriers to small, farm scale wind turbine opportunities. We are a three-generation family farm with a proud tradition of caring for our animals, land, and each other, if the sound levels from our wind turbine were in any way harmful, we would be the first to do something about it.
My own home is the closest to the turbine — about 750 feet away. We have a pool in our yard, so we spend a lot of time outside all summer with family and friends. Although we hear the turbine from time to time, we have never found the soft sounds to be offensive. The swooshing sound is similar to that of the wind blowing the leaves on the trees. The flapping of our United States flag in front of the barn is noisier than the windmill. The sound of traffic on the road is far more offensive and unnatural.
This year we will be hosting “Breakfast on the farm” on July 22. We invite you to get your free tickets at vermontbreakfastonthefarm.com, to come and experience for yourself, how today’s modern family dairy farms and the agricultural community work together to produce safe, wholesome food.
We have found harvesting the wind to be painless and simple. It would be a shame if all Vermonters were denied benefit from this emerging, promising, technology as we continue as a community to increase our renewables portfolio for a cleaner, sustainable future.
Marie Audet
Blue Spruce Farm Inc., Audet’s Cow Power LLC

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