2008 Dairyman Of The Year award is a family affair

Posted on October 15, 2008. Filed under: Biomass |

Methane gas generated in the the manure digester (left) runs thorugh an undergound pipe and through a filtering system (right) before being fed into a diesel engine that turns a generator (in the building behind the fileter) to make electrcity on the Crave Brothers farm near Waterloo, Wisconsin.

From a story posted on cattlenetwork.com:

Four Crave brothers – Charles, George, Tom and Mark – received the prestigious title at the recent World Dairy Expo, in Madison, Wis., the world’s largest dairy industry event. The brothers and their families are partners in Crave Brothers Farm, LLC and Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, LLC.

In the span of 30 years, the Crave brothers created a family dairy farm that has become internationally known for its productivity, innovation and environmental sustainability. Along the way, they also created a farmstead cheese plant that uses milk from their farm in award-winning artisan cheeses.

The brothers, raised on a 40-cow Wisconsin dairy farm, started their business in 1978, milking 57 cows on a rented farm. They now farm 1,800 acres and milk 1,200 cows three times a day. The Craves built one of the first modern free-stall milking facilities in their area, and were leaders in adapting TMR (a nutritionally balanced “total mixed ration” of feed for a herd). The brothers emphasize herd comfort and quality, and their animals earn top honors at state and national shows.

The Crave brothers make it a priority to protect the environment in all aspects of their agri-business. For example, they have an anaerobic manure digester that creates enough electricity to power their farm, their on-farm cheesemaking facility, and 120 homes. The Craves often partner with the nearby University of Wisconsin-Madison in engineering, profitability and on farm trials.


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