Location: Marshall, CA
Featuring: Albert Straus of Straus Family Creamery
Albert’s father started the farm in 1941. The two became partners in 1977, and by ’94 it became the first certified organic dairy and creamery west of the Mississippi.
1) Barn slurry, sileage runoff, and creamery waste flow into the slurry pit.
2) This mixture is pumped into a devise which separates the manure’s solids and liquids.
3) The liquid flows by gravity into the digester pond.
4) Anaerobic digestion = bacteria digests the waste and gives off methane gas
5) The methane gas fuels a generator that offsets the farm’s energy use by 90%.
6) Heat captured from the engine makes hot water used to wash equipment in the milking barn.
The digester tarp is made from polypropylene methane = a greenhouse gas produced by cow flatulence and defecation which pollutes the environment.
WHAT THE DIGESTER DOES (IN 30-40 DAYS)
1) Saves money by generating 300,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year
2) Eliminates a greenhouse gas 23 times more damaging than CO2
3) Converts nitrogen into a more usable form for plants
4) Cuts down on the odor and flies around the farm
Ten cubic yards of manure solids are produced each day. These are hauled to another location, composted, then spread on fields as fertilizer.