In May 2018, Dairy Farmers of Washington (DFW) and Darigold announced that Washington dairy farmer, Austin Allred, was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
Mr. Allred, 28, is being recognized for his commitment to dairy farm sustainability with a primary goal of transforming Royal Dairy into a zero-waste business. In 2017, Mr. Allred became the first dairy farmer in Washington to install a Biofiltro BIDA® System, an energy-efficient water treatment system utilizing worms to transform the dairy’s wastewater into irrigation-grade water. Through the use of worms, the Biofiltro BIDA® System is able to turn the farm’s biggest liability, wastewater, into a profitable asset–high-quality worm castings which can be used as organic fertilizer.
The worms’ process to clean the water generates approximately 2,000 cubic yards of worm casting every 18 months that will be sold to other local farmers to fortify their soil for apples, bell peppers, cherries, and other produce.
“I am so pleased to have Austin and his family representing Washington’s dairy community,” said Scott Kinney, DFW CEO. “DFW proudly supported the system’s launch and funded BioFiltro’s on-farm research at Royal Dairy. Because of Austin’s hard work and forward thinking, this innovative approach has the potential to change how farms manage wastewater across the country.”
Royal Dairy’s Biofiltro BIDA® System is the largest dairy wastewater treatment facility of its kind in the nation and since its installation, has recycled more than 73 million gallons of wastewater, removing on average 97 percent of suspended solids and 93 percent of nitrogen.
“As we at Darigold celebrate our centennial anniversary, we are proud of co-op members like Austin Allred and his family who have invested in an innovative way to treat wastewater on their farm,” said Stan Ryan, Darigold president and CEO. “Our member-owners are stewards of their animals, the environment and communities, and have been for the past 100 years. Darigold is pleased to again be associated with the national award winners announced today. It’s a win-win for the planet, the community and business.”
The “Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award” was presented to Mr. Allred for his use and success with the BioFiltro BIDA® system at the seventh annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards on May 16 in Chicago, IL, by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. The awards recognize dairy farms, businesses and collaborative partnerships for practices that demonstrate outstanding economic, environmental and social benefits as well as longstanding commitment to continuous improvement and a replicable model to inform and inspire others in advancing dairy sustainability leadership.
“This is the fourth national Sustainability Award for Washington dairy farmers,” said Scott Kinney, DFW CEO. “I believe this speaks to our dairy community’s commitment to innovation. Consumers want to eat a diet that is not only healthy, but also good for the environment and our farmers have stepped up to meet and exceed those demands.”