Climate Smart Dairy

The planet isn’t waiting, and neither are dairy farmers who are tackling climate change with game-changing technologies.

Lynnwood, Washington, Sept. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- There’s a misconception that dairy is a big contributor to climate change. While dairy farming has a carbon footprint, producing milk has a surprisingly small impact on the environment, contributing to just 2% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. To meet the dairy industry’s GHG neutral goal by 2050, farmers are putting in place “climate smart” initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases, improve water quality, and optimize water usage.  

At Harmony Dairy in Mt. Vernon, over 900-thousand gallons of manure flow into an underground vessel called an anaerobic digester each month.  Inside the digester, bacteria breaks down organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Jason Vander Kooy says his dairy also takes in nearly 500-thousand gallons a month of other plant based and animal by-products that are not or no longer consumable. The waste matter transforms inside the digester capturing methane and converting it into renewable energy which provides electricity for the farm and homes throughout the community.  

Providing quality clean water to dairy cows is essential to producing high-quality milk. In 2017, Austin Allred of Royal Dairy in Royal City became the first dairy farmer in Washington to install a Biofiltro BIDA® System, an energy-efficient water treatment process utilizing worms to transform the farm’s wastewater into irrigation-grade water. By using worms the farm can turn one of their biggest liabilities into a profitable resource - high quality worm casting, which can be used as organic fertilizer. 

“It’s necessary to reuse, recycle and conserve water”, says Brad Smith of Coldstream Dairy, in Deming, Washington. After feeding their cows and washing the milking parlors with clean water, the liquid on the farm is sent into their Daritech BioLynk System tank. The water is then reused to clean animal walkways before going back into the BioLynk tank to be reused several times. As new (first use) water comes into the tank, the old gray water is incorporated into a manure processing facility to be used as fertilizer that helps grow the crops that feed the cows. 

 Dairy farmers care about the people in their communities and the land they live on. That’s why Washington farmers are enacting climate smart initiatives building on their long-time commitment to preserve our natural resources and protect the importance of dairy nutrition in our diets.


Royal Dairy's Energy Efficient Water Treatment The Digestive Power of Worms

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