Just call them the Energizer Dairy

In today’s news, we have been hearing a lot of recent updates on energy creation. These topics range from wind and solar to shale and biofuels. However, all of them are focused on providing clean, renewable energy sources that can be used for years to come. Your stance may differ depending on the energy type discussed. But, it is up to us as consumers to look at all possible avenues of production to keep the lights on in our homes and the engines running in our automobiles.

I discovered an interesting article published by the New York Times about a new form of energy and fuel. Fair Oaks Farms of Fair Oaks, Ind. is one of the largest dairy operations in the country, with around 30,000 cows. They are showing innovation because they are not only inviting the public to join them on the farm to see their operation and participate in fun activities like cheese making, but they are using the other less-desired byproducts, manure, to create energy.

As mentioned in the NY Times, “the farm is running sophisticated $12 million “digester” facilities that process its overabundance of manure, capturing natural gas that runs electric generators or is pumped underground to a fueling station.”

Any remaining manure byproducts are then spread on farm fields as fertilizer. With the fuel being produced directly on the farm, the farm owners were able to build two fuel stations and open them to the public. Because of these pumps, Gary Corbett, chief executive of Fair Oaks, believes they will substitute nearly 2 million gallons of diesel per year.

Think about all of the innovation that went behind this project. From planning how to use the manure, building the equipment and marketing the new fuel station, Fair Oaks has underwent much planning and marketing to make this new project a success. Being featured in the NY Times is a great publicity opportunity and is helping to advocate for new energy methods in the agricultural industry.

Do you feel these new energy outlets are being properly marketed? How do you feel other energy methods like shale, wind or solar compare to the marketing of biofuels and natural gases?

4 thoughts on “Just call them the Energizer Dairy

  • Fair Oaks Dairy is a great example when it comes to alternative energy! I remember my first visit to Fair Oaks and how overwhelming it was. There is so much that can come from a dairy farm that I don't think people realize. I agree that Fair Oaks is being very innovating with their energy sources. I also believe that others should follow suit and help to make the planet more sustainable.

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  • Fair Oaks is a great place! They take every aspect of transparency in agriculture to heart, even showing that agriculture cares about the environment and wants to be sustainable. I have the opportunity to work at Fair Oaks this summer at the new Fair Oaks Pig Adventure! I look forward to seeing more positive growth at Fair Oaks.

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  • When I was in Europe, an English farmer had “digesters” on his farm that he used swine manure to fuel the “digesters” and run electricity on his farm. This to me was amazing type of technology that is environmental friendly and can keep costs low for farmers who have a large operation. Good to hear about this in the US!

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