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Ideal Dairy

Warren & Washington Counties

Warren and Washington Counties highlighted on a map of New York State over a green and white bokeh dot background.

NYSERDA and National Grid partner to help New York Farms

Heads of four dairy cows sticking out through bars in the corral, one looking straight into the camera.

An energy-efficient expansion that makes everyone happy… including the cows

By embarking on an ambitious multi-million-dollar expansion, Ideal Dairy is doubling its production, improving cow and employee comfort, and increasing quality. Ideal Dairy has been a family-owned operation for over 100 years. Originally a small, nine-cow farm with 60 acres that started packaging milk and selling door-to-door in the early 1900s, the business grew to a herd of 1,230 cows with 3,100 acres of crop. Expansion has been part of this farm dating back to its earliest days. Recognizing the importance of greater economies of scale, Ideal Dairy decided to proceed with a multi-million-dollar expansion to dramatically increase capacity with a new, state-of-the-art milking facility and new freestalls.

Ideal Dairy Success Story

Starting with efficiency in mind

Energy costs are a significant expense for a farm. That’s why Ideal Dairy reached out to NYSERDA to evaluate energy usage through the Agriculture Energy Audit Program (AEAP). Ideal Dairy installed many of the recommended energy-efficient upgrades and were happy with the results they achieved.

Five members of the Ideal Dairy Farms family posing in front of the red barn.

With the expansion in mind, Ideal Dairy received a second audit through AEAP. As a result of the audit, Ideal Dairy received an energy template for the new facility. The results from the audits became a reality with the recommendations being integrated into the design of the new facility. The AEAP energy audit provided National Grid a road map for the energy-efficiency upgrades for National Grid to incentivize to improve energy efficiency on the farm.

Smart expansion to double capacity

With a dated parlor from the 1990s, the cornerstone of Ideal Dairy’s expansion was a new parlor with a 72-cow carousel and related equipment along with a new freestall barn with energy-efficient variable speed drive (VSD) fans and LED lighting. National Grid provided financial incentives for the energy efficient equipment as well as an economic development grant for a new commercial underground three-phase 1,600-amp service to support this expansion. The new well-lit parlor and barns with efficient ventilation systems keep the areas bright and comfortable, ensuring happy cows and workers.

Crystal Grimaldi
Dairy cows in corral.

“Keeping cows cool and comfortable in the summer is important for maintaining milk production; so, energy costs are a big deal. The incentives we received from National Grid will help us improve efficiency and save money.”

– Crystal Grimaldi, member of Ideal Dairy, LLC, and great-great granddaughter of the founder

Large metal fans hanging from barn rafters.
Jessica, Bob, and Crystal discussing plans in the barn.
Tank trailer parked in front of a red barn with cloudy sky above.

“Our experience with National Grid and NYSERDA has significantly improved our energy efficiency and provided enhanced cow comfort and increased production.” – John Dickinson, member of Ideal Dairy LLC and great-grandson of the founder.

Breaking Down Cost Barriers

While this expansion was critical in making Ideal Dairy even more competitive, it was also challenging to fund the project. National Grid was able to help with financial incentives, including:

“When our energy-efficiency incentives and economic development grants can help increase the productivity of the farm while improving conditions of the workers and animals, it is a success all the way around.”

– Bob Muller, National Grid

Jessica, Bob, and Crystal walking through barn and talking.

Reaping The Rewards

Ideal Dairy has grown from 1,230 cows in 2016 to 2,300 cows while doubling production to 22,000 gallons of milk a day through efficiencies. With the success of this project, they are already into phase two, adding an additional freestall barn enabling them to grow to 3,000 cows by the end of 2021. Ideal Dairy is improving the environment and making their cows, workers and community happy.

Looking to grow your business or boost profits with efficiency in mind?
Our team can help with technical support, financial incentives, and grants.

Learn more about NYSERDA’s agriculture energy assistance and National Grid's Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. energy efficiency programs and incentives.