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Sustainable Dairy Farms Honored

cowMaddox Dairy of Riverdale, Calif., has been recognized by the Innovation Center for US Dairy for pioneering green dairy farming approaches that are now used widely across the sustainable agriculture industry.

Maddox was one of three winners of the Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability award as part of the US Dairy Sustainability Awards.

The total mixed ration feeding method, the use of drive-through freestall barns and galvanized self-locking stations — standards in today’s industry — are techniques trailblazed by Maddox. Recent projects have resulted in reduced costs, lower environmental impact and healthier, more productive livestock for the dairy; and cleaner air and energy for the surrounding community, according to Innovation Center for US Dairy.

The two other Oustanding Dairy Farm Sustainability winners are: McCarty Family Farms of Rexford, Kan. and Sensenig Dairy, Kirkwood, Penn.

McCartny partnered with Dannon to construct a condensed milk processing plant that extracts more than 14 million gallons of water from milk each year. The water can be used for animal and crop care.

Cliff and Andrea Sensenig implemented a methane digester at their farm. Three years of planning and collaboration led to a digester that now processes manure from 200 dairy animals, 2,000 hogs and 30,000 chickens from neighboring farms, along with local food waste.

Joseph Gallo Farms of Atwater, Calif., was the sole recipient of the Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability award. Joseph Gallo Farms uses energy efficient equipment in its cheese plant help to conserve energy and at least 2.9 billion gallons of water each year, in addition to accepting as much as 10 million gallons of stormwater and wastewater each day from local communities to use for irrigation.

In January, New York made $21 million available to help the state’s dairy farmers convert farm waste to energy.

The bulk of the funding — $20 million — is available through NYSERDA to install anaerobic digester technology that produces renewable biogas used to produce electricity and heat from organic wastes. Farms, food processing manufacturers or municipal wastewater sites would be eligible for up to $2 million per project.

Picture Credit: Cow on a summer pasture vis Shutterstock

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