Straus Dairy Farm

The Straus family legacy started in 1941 with Straus Family Dairy Farm in the small town of Marshall, CA, along the shores of Tomales Bay on the Northern California Coast.

Known for its mild, coastal climate, pristine coastal grassland, and fresh marine air — with virtually no pollution from traffic or factories — the area is a quiet escape from city life. For some, the seasons can prove confusing. Summer air is cooled by daily, sometimes constant fog, and the grass is dried up. Winters are cool, lush, green, foggy and wet. No matter what people think, cows excel in this climate.

A Straus cow’s life isn’t complicated. The 270 Straus organic dairy cows (Jersey, Holstein, and Jersey-Holstein cross breeds), roam 500 acres of pasture during the day and, when night falls, they sleep on cow mats with natural bedding in an open barn. Animal welfare is a critical element of the Straus Farm’s philosophy — Straus cows are treated well and are given a great deal of affection.

A WORKING FARM AND PLACE OF INNOVATION

Straus Dairy Farm has strived to create a sustainable farming model that builds soil and protects water quality while developing practices and techniques that are economically viable. In 2004, Albert installed a methane digester—converting a potent pollutant into an energy source—paving the way for renewable electricity and on-farm electric vehicles. In 2021, a highly successful trial, the first of its kind took place at Straus Dairy Farm, testing a seaweed additive for dairy cows, proving to dramatically reduce their enteric methane emissions (cow burps). When the certified organic additive becomes available at scale in 2023, Albert Straus’ organic dairy farm will be the first dairy using this red seaweed.

Organic farming is the foundation for a carbon-neutral dairy farming model and is crucial to helping change our farming and food systems around the world. Upon implementation, Straus Dairy Farm’s organic milk will have a climate-positive footprint and equal or lower climate impact to non-dairy, plant-based alternatives. This is based on a greenhouse gas footprint that includes agriculture and food manufacturing emissions.

FROM POOP TO POWER

In 2017, Albert Straus introduced the first full-scale electric truck – powered by cow manure. This truck and the electric loader Albert introduced in 2022 are the on-farm electric vehicles demonstrating that his organic dairy farm can be carbon neutral.

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE AND INNOVATIVE FARMING PRACTICES

In 2013, the Straus Dairy Farm became the first dairy farm in California to develop a carbon farm plan, in conjunction with the Marin Carbon Project. This is a 20-year carbon farm plan that was updated in 2020 with experts from the Marin Resource Conservation District and the Marin Agricultural Land Trust. The 20-year carbon farm plan outlines how the Straus Dairy Farm has the potential to reduce its carbon footprint by 1,380 metric tons of CO2e every year.

Straus Dairy Farm Facts

2023
The year the Straus Dairy Farm will reach its carbon-neutral dairy farming model goal.
1,380 mt of CO2e
The farm can potentially reduce its carbon footprint by this amount annually.