Carbon-Neutral Farming - Straus Family Creamery

Carbon-Neutral Dairy Farming

RED SEAWEED'S IMPACT ON METHANE EMISSIONS

Founder Albert Straus and seaweed-supplement maker Blue Ocean Barns demonstrate a dramatic climate change solution, reducing dairy cows’ enteric methane emissions an average of 52% and up to 90% by supplementing the cows’ diet with a specific red seaweed  (Asparagopsis taxiformis) in the first U.S. commercial trial on a dairy farm.

The red seaweed received regulatory approval and will be available as a certified organic supplement for all the Straus dairy cows in 2023. It has the potential to reduce cows’ enteric methane emissions up to 95%. This is accomplished by feeding the dairy cows roughly one ounce of red seaweed as part of their regular 45-pound diet. 

What is Carbon-Neutral Dairy Farming?

With organic agriculture as the foundation, Straus Family Creamery is committed to creating a carbon-neutral dairy farming model on the Straus Dairy Farm by 2023. This is another critical step in our ongoing quest to create an organic farming model that is good for the planet and our communities.

Achieving carbon neutrality means maximizing carbon sequestration and reducing on-farm greenhouse emissions by advancing innovative technologies and regenerative practices. By creating this climate-positive dairy farming model, we strive to change the farming and food systems in our communities and the world. 

Carbon-Neutral Organic Dairy Farming Model

Organic farming is the key to the carbon-neutral farming success. See how all the elements work together to help achieve the sustainability goals in our organic dairy farming model.

The Solution Begins with Organic Agriculture​

Organic practices are the foundation of the Straus Dairy Farm's model for carbon- neutral dairy farming. Organic, pasture-based farming is better for the climate and provides environmental co-benefits such as enhanced water quality and biodiversity.

Methane Biodigester Converts Manure into Renewable Energy

The biodigester on the Straus Dairy Farm takes in manure from the barns and captures the methane biogas emanating from that waste to generate electricity. The biodigester reduces manure methane emissions by 90% and offsets additional greenhouse gas emissions by replacing grid electricity with farm-generated electricity.

Seaweed Supplements to Suppress Enteric Emissions (Cow Burps)

Enteric methane emissions (commonly known as 'cow burps') are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions on the Straus Dairy Farm. During the 2021 Straus Dairy Farm and Blue Ocean Barns commercial trial, the red seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis) supplement reduced dairy cows’ enteric methane emissions an average of 52% and up to 90%. When this red seaweed receives regulatory approval for all the Straus dairy cows, it has the potential to reduce cows’ enteric emissions up to 95%. This is accomplished by feeding the dairy cows roughly one ounce of red seaweed as part of their regular 45-pound diet.

Carbon Farming Practices that Enhance Soil Health

Carbon farming is a set of land management practices that build healthy soil and sequester atmospheric carbon. Albert Straus was the first dairy farmer in California to adopt a science-based Carbon Farm Plan (CFP) in 2013. Since then, Albert has reduced the climate impact of his farm through regenerative agriculture practices such as compost application, intensive rotational grazing, and hedgerow planting.

Electric Farm Equipment to Eliminate Fossil Fuel

The Straus Dairy Farm aims to eliminate fossil fuel emissions by converting all farm equipment to electric. The biodigester currently provides enough renewable electricity to charge Albert Straus' electric car, a full-scale electric truck, and other farm vehicles.

Working Together for Sustainable Agriculture

All of the dairy farms that supply Straus Family Creamery will be carbon neutral by 2030. Here are some farms already putting regenerative farming practices in place towards this goal. 

Tresch Family Farms

The Tresch Family is actively working to advance sustainability on their farms, beginning with a composting project funded by Zero Foodprint that will increase their farmland's carbon sequestration.

Silacci DAIRY

Silacci Dairy developed a Carbon Farm Plan with Sonoma Resource Conservation District to be implemented in 2022, providing a roadmap for reducing the farm’s climate impact through regenerative agricultural practices.

ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP

While our sustainability goals are always evolving, our mission remains the same.

Straus Family Creamery is committed to sustaining family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties by providing high quality, minimally processed, organic dairy products, and to support family farming and revitalize rural communities everywhere through advocacy and education.

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