Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series of articles that features local businesses that use clean, healthy and sustainable practices, and are doing their part to help keep our earth beautiful. The series will lead up to the Galt Earth Day Celebration in April 2020, presented by the Galt Beautification Committee and the Galt Community of Character Coalition.
Arlin Van Groningen, owner of New Hope Dairy, has a working partnership with Mother Earth. It begins with the feed that the cows eat. The feed is a special mixture of organic materials, such as canola meal, soy hull, cottonseed and, surprisingly, bakery waste.
Organic waste is the number one problem in the landfills but, when fed to the cows, helps produce quality milk. That milk produces calcium, a foundation for strong bones for our children.
The dairy uses water efficiently. After the cows are milked, the milk must be cooled with water. That water can be used to wash the cows and water the crops, or go directly to lagoons used multiple times to wash out the barns.
The manure will go through a separator that separates the liquid from the solids. The liquid goes into a digester that produces enough electricity to power the dairy and sell the extra back to SMUD. The digester will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One cow can produce enough transportation fuel to drive a car across the country.
The solids make compost that is sold to the farmers to produce more crops or for food for the cows.
So, New Hope Dairy uses water efficiently, reduces greenhouse gases and turns waste into nutrition.
But the dairyman also wants the country around the dairy to be clean and beautiful, so he also participates in the Adopt-A-Street program.