UW-Oshkosh Begins Work On Manure Digester


University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is breaking ground on a manure digester on the state’s largest commercial dairy farm.

When it’s done, the digester will produce enough electricity to power 1,200 homes.

The UW-Oshkosh Foundation is funding the $7 million project. No tax dollars are being used.

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UW-Oshkosh spokesman Alex Hummel says students from several disciplines will get to study the digester up close.

Hummel: “Microbiology studies, bio solids studies – maybe even for some of our sociology students it’s a chance to really better understand how some of these technologies can better support Wisconsin’s tradition of dairy farming and agriculture in our rural communities.”

The digester is being built at Rosendale Dairy in the town of Pickett, a farm that houses more than 8,000 cows. Confined Animal Feeding Operations are controversial for many reasons, including the risk of waste leaching into groundwater.

UW-Oshkosh officials say the digester will reduce the risk of that happening. Hummel says the electricity produced will be sold to Alliant Energy, and help the school reach a green goal.

Hummel: “We had originally set for 2025 to reach carbon neutrality. We’re hoping we can shave that down by a couple years.”

The digester is expected to be running by the end of the year.