Local Goat Farm’s Commitment to Sustainable Practices Achieves Green Certification

Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery is proud to announce that it has achieved recognition as a Sonoma County Green Business environmental leader. The Sonoma Green Business Program, part of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, is a partnership of government agencies and utilities that assists, recognizes and promotes local organizations, focusing on small to medium-sized consumer-oriented businesses that voluntarily operate in environmentally responsible ways. Certified participants must be in compliance with all environmental regulations and meet program standards for conserving resources, preventing pollution and minimizing waste while demonstrating goodwill in the community.

Local Goat Farm’s Commitment to Sustainable Practices Achieves Green Certification

This is not the first time the company has been recognized as a responsible business owner. In 2009, it received a Best Practices Award for its use of environmentally sound business practices from the Business Environmental Alliance of Sonoma County. Redwood Hill Farm also holds the distinction of being the first goat dairy in the United States to be Certified Humane®, which is considered the ‘gold standard’ in third-party certification for humane animal treatment.

In addition to using solar power to provide energy for both the family farm and creamery where its award-winning products are made, Redwood Hill Farm employs the following green practices:

Rewards employees for new re-use and recycle ideas that keep everyone on the alert for new ways to protect our environment, such as changing and reducing the amount of plastic in each yogurt cup and lid by about half, switching to foil lids rather than plastic and upgrading to more energy efficient, motion sensor lighting at the creamery

Recycles extensively at both the farm and creamery, using only recycled paper and biodegradable serving cups and utensils at sampling events

Reclaims water to clean areas where it is acceptable

Composts manure and straw/hay stems from smaller barns that is used for the farm’s organic vegetable gardens, olive grove and apple orchard; uses manure and straw/hay stems as mulch around fruit trees and in the ground to provide nutrients for the trees

Provides solar-powered electric vehicle recharging stations at the creamery and uses two hybrid company vehicles
Uses only organic fruits in both its Redwood Hill Farm goat milk yogurts as well as in sister brand Green Valley Organics Lactose Free yogurts and kefirs, which the company introduced in 2010.

This Farmer Went Turds for Power

Peter Melnik, a fourth-generation dairy farmer, owns Bar-Way Farm, Inc. in Deerfield, Mass. He has an anaerobic digester on his farm that converts food waste into renewable energy. Allison Aubrey/NPR
Peter Melnik, a fourth-generation dairy farmer, owns Bar-Way Farm, Inc. in Deerfield, Mass. He has an anaerobic digester on his farm that converts food waste into renewable energy. Allison Aubrey/NPR

As NPR Reports, the season of big holiday meals kicks off, it’s as good a time as any to reflect on just how much food goes to waste.

If you piled up all the food that’s not eaten over the course of a year in the U.S., it would be enough to fill a skyscraper in Chicago about 44 times, according to an estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And, when all this food rots in a landfill, it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. In fact, a recent report from the United Nations from a panel of climate experts estimates that up to 10 percent of all human-made greenhouse gas emissions are linked to food waste.

So, here’s one solution to the problem: Dairy farmers in Massachusetts are using food waste to create electricity. They feed waste into anaerobic digesters, built and operated by Vanguard Renewables, which capture the methane emissions and make renewable energy.

Sources: Redwood Hill Farm at RedwoodHill.com and GreenValleyLactoseFree.com, SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (Dec. 11, 2013) and NPR