Old Bessie, wandering in the pasture, calmly chewing her cud, has been the victim of the “greenies” in recent years. Voices in the green movement, that has been sweeping across the globe, have raised the red flag on cow farts that have been ravaging the planet Earth. 

Along with Bessie, the beloved gas guzzlers that have been gracing the Michigan roadways since 1908 have also had a target pasted on their bumper. In an ironic twist of fate, the two have become a match made in Heaven. Sort of. 

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It seems that Bessie’s milk can be processed and provide a greener transportation fuel. Another surprising twist, the milk will be transformed into vodka, and it’s all going to take place in the sleepy little Village of Constantine, Michigan.

Is The State of Michigan Really Pouring Money Into This Project? 

It’s official, and a press release from the Office of the Governor proves it. On Tuesday, May 23rd, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in announcing Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approval of a new dairy processing facility in the village of Constantine that will reduce the carbon footprint of dairy byproduct and bring new jobs and infrastructure to the community. It’s a joint venture between Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) and Dairy Distillery USA. 

Dairy Distillery, a Canadian company, has developed technology to transform milk permeate, a byproduct of milk and other dairy processing, into ethanol. And the MSF is so convinced that they approved a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant and a 15-year State Essential Services Assessment exemption valued at $682,500 in support of the project.  

This YouTube Video Will Give You The Low Down

So, How Many Jobs And What's The Price Tag?

The word on the street is that the project is expected to create 12 well-paying jobs and generate a total capital investment of $41.1 million. Also, it seems that Michigan beat out our neighbor to the south, Indiana, to host the project. 

According to Dairy Distillery,  

Dairy Distillery developed technology to transform a lactose-rich dairy byproduct, called milk permeate into vodka, aptly named Vodkow. This high value use of milk permeate caught the attention of MMPA whose Constantine, MI facility produces 14,000 tons a year that’s being used for animal feed. Looking to create more value for its dairy farmer members, MMPA partnered with Dairy Distillery to build a plant to process its milk permeate into 2.2 million gallons of ethanol.  

So yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Methane isn’t the only gas that Bessie will be producing. 

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