EcoDairy in Abbotsford, BC is one of Canada’s leading suppliers of eco-friendly household goods and compost for greenhouses. The company was founded by Bruce Linnings and Mark Price, who are both certified organic gardeners. They decided to combine their knowledge with EcoDairy’s state-of-the-art technology to create a high-tech, green, and convenient way to make compost. EcoDairy also serves as a regional centre for composting and green building. Their goal is to create a healthy living environment and reduce waste, while improving soils, air quality, and the ground conditions in which plants thrive.
At EcoDairy in Abbotsford, dairy cows are milked at two different times: during the day or night. When milk is first pumped, the animals are fed a sugar free diet of soy and corn. After this feeding is finished, they are returned to the pen, where they spend the rest of the day drinking fresh, clean, unfiltered water. There is no antibiotics used on the dairy farm; instead, EcoDairy works with local waterways to make sure that the animals get uncontaminated drinking water.
At night, the cows are returned to the pen and a day later, the hay is harvested. It is then manually sorted to ensure that there is no leftover milk. Then, the cleaned hay is taken to a local compost yard. The natural bacteria in the compost helps break down the waste and form nutrient rich humus. This rich humus, along with the natural vitamins and minerals found in the grass, makes the finished product that makes up ecoDairy’s natural, green roof grade fertilizer, known as EcoDairy fertilizer.
An ecodairy farm is just one part of an intricate, integrated system that EcoDairy has put into place. For example, the company encourages its customers to help reduce the amount of garbage being sent to their abbottsford facility. On top of this, the company also works closely with local authorities to make sure that they take whatever measures necessary to protect the local watershed. For instance, they will divert unwanted vehicle exhaust from a road that runs through or near the abbottsford area and use solar power to heat and light the barns. A further example of their commitment to protecting the environment comes from the fact that ecoDairy recycles its aluminum and milk crates and sells them to companies that recycle them.
Now that you know some of the background behind ecoDairy, it is time to meet the people who will be making it happen. If you live in Abbottsford or surrounding areas, you can go to either the business or school yourself to find out more. In addition to meeting the people who work at the farms, it is also worth taking a look at what they have going on. In the spring of 2021, an ecodairy company opened a new demonstration farm in Abbottsford. This exciting new facility offers people the chance to help demonstrate the benefits of using an anaerobic digester.
An ecodairy digester is an anaerobic tank where dairy cows live in an oxygen-rich environment. The tanks allow them to produce more milk than usual, because air can’t get in to the confined space. Once the cows leave the anaerobic digesters, however, they return to their normal living conditions, because the air has cleared. This process doesn’t happen, however, with the use of a dairy cow feed, because the digestion of the feeds is not necessary.
When the ecodairy company’s owner decided to install this facility, he knew that it would be a challenge for him to keep up with demand. People are naturally attracted to living close to nature, and the dairy cow farm is located right on a river. The problem faced by the operator is how to keep the milk flowing continuously, as the demand increases. He also needed a way to encourage people to buy his product; he has decided to implement a program called “EcoDairy on Wheels”. The name of the program pretty much tells the story: farmers drive their tractors across the country, delivering their organic cow milk to local stores.
To encourage people to continue buying his product, he installed four robotic milkers. The robotic cowpoke milker sits on the tractor, allowing the operator to shift its position. As the farmer drives, the robotic milker will follow him and will produce more milk each day. Although the robotic milker is currently only available in Australia, EcoDairy has plans to install more robotic cowpoke milking equipment across the United States in the near future. The company hopes that this will help to bring more of Australia’s native species into the American market.
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