Carbon Farming for Pasture-to-Product Climate Solutions
Pioneering organic dairy leader Albert Straus shares carbon farming & soil quality improvement practices during Global Climate Action Summit week
September 10, 2018 – Petaluma, Calif. – Albert Straus, founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery, a pioneering leader in sustainable organic dairy farming practices, will demonstrate how carbon farming and climate-positive agricultural practices can reverse climate change during two key speaking panels this week. These educational sessions are taking place alongside Gov. Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco from September 12 to 14.
Climate change is an increasingly urgent global concern for many American consumers, businesses and agricultural communities. A new study  by UC Berkeley scientists published in Science Advances illustrates that the pace of climate change can be decelerated by pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and putting it into the ground, where it serves to improve soil quality and increase water retention. This science strengthens the growing body of research that substantiates carbon farming as a global solution to combat climate change.
UC Berkeley scientists reported when combined with aggressive carbon emission reductions – the best scenario for limiting warming from climate change – the study found that improved agricultural management could reduce global temperatures 0.26 degrees Celsius – nearly half a degree Fahrenheit – by 2100.
Albert Straus grew up on his family’s dairy farm and converted it to organic in 1994, making it the first certified organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River. In 2013, the 500-acre Straus Dairy Farm became the first dairy in California to implement a carbon farm plan. Working with the Marin Carbon Project, Straus developed a 20-year carbon farm plan that reduces 2000 metric tons of CO2e every year on his farm.
Around 320 metric tons of CO2e is sequestered from the atmosphere back into the soil on the Straus Dairy Farm each year through carbon farming practices. Many of these are low technology and time-honored practices in sustainable farming communities throughout the world. They include applying compost on pastures to increase the organic matter, moisture retention, and nutrients. When soils have more organic matter and water retention and receive proper nutrition, they naturally increase the volume of pasture production. Other practices include implementing intensive rotational animal grazing to maximize pasture growth, planting windbreaks and hedgerows to reduce soil erosion, and planting perennial grasses to increase underground root systems.
“Carbon farming is critical to the future of agriculture and protecting our planet. On my farm, I see these practices as an achievable solution to global warming. My goal is to create a dairy farming system that is both environmentally positive and economically viable. I encourage other family farmers and ranchers in other regions of the world to replicate this model,” said Albert Straus.
He added that sustainable organic farming practices are imperative to ensure the health of farming for generations to come and to sustain a thriving relationship among farms, food, people, and the earth.
According to the Marin Carbon Project, if farmers spread a quarter inch of compost on just 50 percent of California’s rangelands, 42 million metric tons of CO2e would be offset, equivalent to all the electricity use for commercial and residential sectors in California.
Straus Family Creamery’s climate-friendly practices also include technological innovations. In 2017, Albert Straus converted a heavy-weight on-farm truck to the nation’s first full-scale electric feed truck which hauls feed to his nearly 300 cows.
Straus Family Creamery was recently recognized as a global environmental leader at the 2018 Sustainable Food Awards in Amsterdam. Register here for How Climate Solutions Make Business Sense For Food Companies at 8:30 a.m. (check-in and coffee start at 7:30 a.m.) on Tuesday, Sept. 11 and Food, Fiber, and Fungi – the “Carbon Pioneers” at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
About Straus Family Creamery
Based in Marshall, CA, Straus Family Creamery is a Northern California, certified organic creamery offering minimally processed milk, cream, yogurt, butter, sour cream, ice cream, and a variety of wholesale and specialty dairy products distributed throughout the Western United States. The Creamery makes minimally-processed dairy products from organic milk supplied by family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties, including the Straus Dairy Farm, which is the first certified organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River. Straus Family Creamery, the first 100 percent certified organic creamery in the United States, continues to make business decisions based on its mission to help sustain family farms, revitalize rural communities, and protect the environment. The family-owned business 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 StrausFamilyCreamery.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and Linkedin.
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Director of Communications
Straus Family Creamery