California Organic Dairy Farmer Out-Innovates Tesla with First Full-Scale Electric Truck
Straus Family Creamery’s Albert Straus fights climate change and promotes sustainable practices with methane-powered farm truck
July 26, 2017 (Petaluma, Calif.) Tesla, mooo-ve over: California dairy farmer Albert Straus, a pioneer in organic dairy and sustainable agriculture, announces the launch of the first full-scale electric truck—powered by cow poop. This new full-scale-electric feed truck is the next step in Straus’ quest to show that his Marin county organic dairy farm can be carbon positive, using agriculture as a solution to reversing climate change.
Straus, along with a local mechanic, spent eight years developing the 33,000 lb. gross weight International Harvester truck to use as a feed truck on his farm. The truck measures, mixes and hauls feed before dropping it into the trough for his nearly 300 organic dairy cows. An environmentally-friendly alternative to diesel-fueled trucks, the feed truck’s motor is charged from electrical power generated from methane gas produced by the cows’ own manure.
California dairy farmers – from the nation’s leading agricultural state – are facing pressure to lower methane emissions under the state’s ambitious new greenhouse gas reduction laws, which include methane emission reduction targets of 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030. The state’s Air Resources Board says that much of the reduction should come from converting methane from cow manure into energy. Dairy manure accounts for about a quarter of the state’s methane emissions.
“What I’ve tried to do is create a sustainable organic farming model that is good for the earth, the soil, the animals, and the people working on these farms, and helps revitalize rural communities,” said Albert Straus, CEO and founder of Straus Family Creamery.
Straus added, “My electric feed truck is not only a practical tool for my organic farm. It is also a symbol of the resourcefulness we need to fight climate change, which threatens our business and the future of American farming.”
Straus’ methane digester has been powering his farm since 2004, fueling his all-electric Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Leaf plus smaller farm vehicles and machinery. Working with the Marin Carbon Project, his 500-acre farm is California’s first dairy to develop a 20-year carbon farming plan to sequester 2,000 metric tons of carbon every year. Straus’ goal is to demonstrate to the farming community and public that farmers can implement and teach others practical solutions to climate change. Ultimately, Straus is working towards getting his farm off fossil fuels entirely.
United States plug-in electrical vehicle sales have increased nine-fold since 2011, per Inside EVs. Yet Straus believes he is the first to put a full-scale electric feed truck into use, getting the jump on Tesla Motor’s electric semi-truck slated for September 2017 release.
Next, he plans to unveil an all-electric Farmers’ Market truck to transport his company Straus Family Creamery’s organic milk, cream, yogurt, ice cream and butter to local markets in San Francisco Bay Area.
About Straus Family Creamery
Straus Family Creamery has a longstanding commitment to sustaining family farming. When Albert Straus converted his family’s dairy to organic production in 1994, becoming the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi River, he pioneered a model that reflects the true costs of milk production and promotes sustainable land stewardship. Founding the Creamery, the same year, Straus sought to create a market for local, organic milk, and develop a community of organic dairy farmers in the region. Today, nearly 90 percent of the dairy farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties in Northern California are certified organic. Straus Family Creamery continues to make business decisions based on its mission to help sustain family farms, revitalize rural communities, and protect the environment.
Based in Marshall, Calif., Straus Family Creamery is a certified organic creamery offering milk, cream, yogurt, butter, sour cream, ice cream, and a variety of wholesale and specialty dairy products distributed throughout the Western United States. Limited distribution is available in other parts of the country. The Creamery makes high-quality, minimally-processed dairy products from organic milk supplied by family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties, including the Straus dairy farm. Straus Family Creamery sustains collaborative relationships with the family farms that supply it milk, offering stable prices and predictability in what can otherwise be a volatile marketplace. Learn more at www.strausfamilycreamery.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Director of Communications
Straus Family Creamery
Haven B Media