State Grant Keeps Whitaker Farms Pumping the Milk
7/25/2012 (Updated 6:51:10 PM)(Source: Travis Eldridge)
WHITNEY POINT -- Judi Whitaker said the grant Whitaker Farms received earlier this week is going to "save our lives." What she's talking about is a $318,000 state grant they received through the Broome County Soil and Water Conservation District. Money that will help pay for a new silage storage area, and protect the environment.
"The runoff that comes off these silage storage areas can have a lot of phosperus and nitrogen in it," said Charles McElwee, executive director for the Broome County Soil and Water Conservation District. "That's something that you don't want to have in concentration get into any streams or get across the landscape because it can do a fair amount of damage."
The silage storage area is used to compress the silage and let "juices" or nitrates seep out the bottom and down the incline. That allows the silage to then be used for feed. However, right now the current system has a very limited area for the runoff to go.
"This grant is going to allow us to put in a containment system to collect all that and then take care of it," said Whitaker.
A project Whitaker and her farm could have never taken on without the money from the state. As it is, the grant money is only going to pay for about half the project, but it's something that needs to be done.
"It'll work better, it'll be more efficient, and provide cleaner water going back into the water table," Whitaker said.
Improvements that will help the farm, which has about 700 cows, continue to pump out the milk.
"It's a huge relief for us to be able to know that we'll be able to continue," said Whitaker. "We're almost an 100 year farm, and we're looking forward to another 100 years."
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