Monday, April 22, 2013

Cows & Farmers are Marvelous Recyclers

Today people are recognizing Earth Day. The ruminant animals on our farm celebrate Earth Day everyday by utilizing products nobody else can use.

Dairy cows are the most amazing creatures because they can change many different kinds of feed
stuffs, by-products and marginal forages into nutrient rich milk! Many ingredients we feed cows are by-products; soybean meal is the by-product of soy oil, corn gluten is the by-product of corn syrup, brewers grain is the by-product of making beer, distillers grain is the by-product of producing ethanol, cottonseed is the by-product of cotton material/clothing, refused fruits/vegetables are the by-products of retail store food waste, almond hulls are the by-products of almond production and potatoes/skins are the by-products of potato chip manufacturing.

This is our commodity barn - there's a different feed ingredient in each bay
People don’t have any use for these products, but they contain nutrients animals can use to produce milk and meat. Since cows can effectively consume and process these by-products, that means less waste in landfills. This makes dairy and beef cattle very environmentally-friendly animals.

Our cows consuming their feed
In addition to our remarkable recycling cows, we recycle manure by applying it as a natural fertilizer, reuse water two or three times and have equipment that conserves energy. We reuse and repurpose materials on our farm all the time. Items like wood, pipe, metal, twine, barrels, parts, pieces, etc. You name it, we’ve probably used it more than once to repair, replace, or prolong the life to something on the farm.

The playground we created for visitors includes many recycled materials from our farm. . . .
This slide is an old water trough
This fun "Tire Snake" is made of used tires
For more information about dairy farmers earth-friendly practices, check out these resources;
Ohio Dairy Farmers – Caring for the Environment
This page features commonly asked questions with video answers from experts. Some of the
questions include; What regulations are in place to help protect the environment? How are dairy
farmers meeting today's environmental regulations? Or How do dairy farmers keep our water safe?

Dairy Good
Dairy families celebrating Healthy People, Healthy Communities, and a Healthy Planet.

Dairy Farming Today – Environmental Care
This resource provides a Q&A about how dairy farmers care for the environment.

Improvements and efficiencies have enabled dairy to decrease their carbon footprint by 63% over the last 60 years. Today it takes less land, water, feed and resources to produce a gallon of milk.
This Infographic explains how dairy farmers are stewards of the land
For more posts I’ve written regarding how cows and dairy farmers impact the environment, check out the Environment page on my blog for links.

From our farm to your home, happy Earth Day!


  1. nice entry about cows and their farmers! Reduce/Reuse/Recycle is one way to look at it for sure. Cows and farmers make and manage many awesome steps which yield nutritious meat and milk, and meanwhile yield healthy topsoil, nutritious crops, and even renewable energy for human use. Earth Day is Every Day on the farm.


Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment! I’m opening the doors of our farm to share with you and enjoy engaging in discussion. Please be respectful in your comments. I reserve the right to remove posts that include name calling, slander, and vulgar language or contain links to websites that assault animal agriculture.

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