WI Dairy News: Green Valley Dairy wins national award - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

WI Dairy News: Green Valley Dairy wins national sustainability award

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KRAKOW (WKOW) -- A Wisconsin farm was recently selected to receive the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for outstanding achievement in renewable energy. 

The team at Green Valley Dairy in Krakow started their second generation dairy farm in 2000 with a singular mission: waste nothing. John Jacobs III says, "We look for opportunities in every area of the business. Feeding the cows, managing the crops, managing the feed, where are we wasting, and we try to wring the waste out and make it as efficient as possible."

The dairy recently won a national award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy for their renewable energy practices. John Jacobs IV says, "Well, I think we've always had an eye on the future, and a lot of sustainability efforts and sustainable efforts just tie into long term decisions."

Three methane digesters convert the manure from their herd into "green" electricity which powers the dairy operation in addition to 1200 area homes. Reclaimed heat from the digester also helps warm the maternity and calf nursing areas on the farm.

"I take the smell out of the manure, I kill 97,98,99 percent of the pathogens, I make the manure more available to the plants, I got free bedding; I mean it just sounds like a win, win, win thing."

Green Valley Dairy owners understand that proper management of the nutrients they apply to their crops and feed to their cows is key to keeping their dairy herd healthy and their cropland productive. 

"If I managed my diet like we managed the diet for the cows, I'm sure I'd live to 120! We look for a really healthy diet. And that goes for the cows and also goes for the crops."

Six members of the Jacobs family and numerous employees have adopted a philosophy of sustainability which makes this second generation dairy farm poised to last well into the future.

"I'm most proud of the fact that our people love to come to work every day. And that we have a good strong established culture in our business and that we all can work together and be happy and have a great life."

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