This is a sponsored post by WA Dairy Council and all opinions are my own. Visit www.akeyingredient.com to find out all about the WA Dairy farms.
A few weeks ago I shared with you how WA Dairy Farms like the Werkhoven Dairy farm treat their cows really well. By treating the cows better the cows produce better dairy. The cows produce a lot more than just milk they also produce manure, energy and compost.
Well the farmers do a lot of the work but it comes from how cows make good.
These farmers right here are dedicated to making good while raising a future farmer. In fact both of them grew up on the farm too, the Werkhoven farm has been family run for a while. In addition to taking care of the cows they help create fertilizer for crops and vineyards. From Pinot to Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, some of Washington’s prized wines are made possible by the rich nutrients found in dairy cow compost. I drink a lot of Washington’s Wines.
They also create electricity that powers farms and homes using an anaerobic digester. I didn’t get a picture of it, it’s not something most people would ever want to see but you need to know what it does and the fact that these farmers do this is amazing. They are using science to make the world better. So consider this….what goes in, must come out, which for dairy cows, is manure. The manure, along with inedible human food scraps, enters the anaerobic digester, which acts like a giant stomach. The digester processes the waste, releasing natural methane gas. Instead of escaping into the atmosphere, the methane gas is captured and used to power an electrical generator. That electricity can either power the farm or be sold to local utilities to power nearby homes.
This powers homes in WA! I was blown away to know this. I thought all manure was good for was making fertilizer, which WA Dairy farmers also do. The Werkhoven farm uses the fertilizer they make to fertilize their farms and they give the rest away helping other farms and families in WA. I was amazed at their generosity. They look at it as not letting anything go to waste. That’s important on a farm.
The remaining solids from the anaerobic digester are clean and odorless and can be used for compost or comfy cow bedding.
Because of these bi-products Dairy cows keep Washington green in more ways than one. Dairy’s total economic impact is valued at over $5.2 billion annually in direct and secondary effects. Washington dairy cows are a key ingredient in our state’s sustainable future. Cows and the Dairy farmers are amazing creatures serving our state in amazing ways. By making energy, fertilizer and dairy some farms are completely self-sustained. Check out www.akeyingredient.com to find out about other WA Dairy farms. And go get yourself some amazing WA Dairy. Milk is good for you!