The economical and ecological benefits are obvious, but there's another you can't see so much as smell. You might think this poop-to-poop conversion makes for some stinky times, but Royal’s process means it actually keeps a lower profile on the olfactory landscape than the average dairy farm. That’s nice news for Allred’s neighbors’ noses. And since it’s all fairly passive, he ends up with more time on his hands than if he were managing waste the old way. That’s nice news for him.
Right now, Allred is the only dairy farmer in Washington State using these practices -- and one of just a handful in the country. But far from keeping this more efficient system of production to themselves, Allred and his team are excited to spread the word about the biofilter and what it can offer to other farmers. Their enthusiasm for sustainability comes from both economical and ecological reasons -- something he stresses during the hundreds of tours he’s given on his farm. And since he just won the Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability award at the 2018 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, people are listening.
“In order for us to be successful in the long term, our practices have to be sustainable,” he emphasizes. “We are committed to that sustainability because I’m 28, I have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, and we need to be here a long time. We need to take care of our land, we need to take care of our cows, our employees -- we have to make sustainable decisions if we want to stay in business.”
It seems paradoxical. Royal Dairy can only draw these environmental benefits by disseminating their business advantage to others. But some things are more valuable than next quarter’s earnings. Thankfully, in Allred the far-reaching profit has found its far-reaching prophet.
To see more stories of people devoted to dairy, including those devoted to responsible production, visit UndeniablyDairy.org/devoted.