Sunday, June 2, 2013

June Dairy Month Celebrates Sustainability

June Dairy Month is a perfect time to celebrate how we work to provide safe high-quality milk while caring for our cows and the land.
Last year our family dairy farm completed an energy audit to look at potential ways we could save energy to improve the sustainability of our farm and in the long run, work to reduce our carbon footprint.

It's easy to understand that one of the recommendations from the audit was to install a piece of equipment in the milk barn called a 'plate cooler' because it takes a lot of electricity to milk the cows, cool the milk and keep the milk cool in the refrigerated tank until it is transported to the processing plant. The plate cooler saves energy by cooling the milk before it reaches the
refrigerated tank.

Our new plate cooler was installed in January but we just flipped the switch and turned it on last week because it involved the addition of a variable speed milk pump and an additional water system to recycle the water used by the plate cooler to cool the milk.

 Although we're still installing the permanent rubber tire water tanks in the pasture, the recycled water from the plate cooler is flowing into the water tanks in the pasture.

I realize that you might not share my enthusiasm about a piece of equipment but for me and my third generation dairy farm family, it's exciting to see the new milk pump and plate cooler running efficiently to reduce energy and recycle water to improve the sustainability of our family farm and the efficient use of our natural resources. 

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