The Mountain Times

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Cow Power: The Film premiers at The Paramount Theatre

RUTLAND - The community was invited to a free showing of Cow Power: The Film's World Premier at The Paramount Theatre in downtown Rutland, Saturday, Aug. 10. Allison Gillette, director and producer, introduced the film on stage, thanking the many people in the audience that helped make the film possible, including former Gov. James Douglas, who narrated the film.
The documentary-style production begins with the uses of cow manure in farming and setting the stage by telling how the Vermont farming industry has seen a sharp decline in resources over the years, as rural farms search for ways to cut costs and increase production while staying true to their roots.
Cow manure contains large amounts of methane. According to the film, methane gas "accounts for 25% of all greenhouse gasses." When harvested and contained properly, the methane gas can be used as a utility supplement, powering farm machinery and other tools often used in rural farming. This renewable energy is an example of how waste from food production can be recycled to increase revenue. A short synopsis praises the benefits, stating that the process "creates cow bedding, safe fertilizer and removes methane gas."
Vermont's utility company, Green Mountain Power, is backing cow power as a renuable energy source and making it available to its customers who can elect to pay an additional four cents per killowatt hour. According to the film, over 10 farms are now a part of GMP cow power program and key Vermont businesses including Long Trail Brewery, Green Mountain College, Handy Toyota and Vermont Clothing Co. are reported to have jumped on board, too, pledging to offset a portion of their energy use with "cow power" derived from the methane gas.
There's no telling how fast the interest in this renewable power will spread, including to those outside of Vermont state lines. The program calculates that, if used to full potential, cow power could account for 10% of U.S. energy needs. Perhaps, cow manure will become a valuable commodity across the country - a boom for renuable energy and the Vermont economy! But for now, Vermonters are happy to put some of those cow pies to use.
Cow Power: The Film is now available on Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and other sites.