Manure Manager

Features Applications Beef
2010 California Agricultural Stewardship Award


April 6, 2010
By Manure Manager

Topics

April 1, 2010, Lindsay, CA – The Hilarides Dairy, located
just northwest of Lindsay in Tulare County, was the recent recipient of the
2010 California Agricultural Stewardship Award.


April 1, 2010, Lindsay, CA – The Hilarides Dairy, located
just northwest of Lindsay in Tulare County, was the recent recipient of the
2010 California Agricultural Stewardship Award.

Hilarides is one of the largest Jersey cowherds in
California. The family milks 9,000 cows, primarily Jerseys, which produce milk
that is especially suitable for making cheese. An additional 9,000 support
stock (dairy heifers, calves and dry cows) are part of the operation. The Hilarides
family also raises about 4,000 beef steers.

Rob Hilarides and his son-in-law, Anthony Simoes, manage
day-to-day operations of the dairy. In addition to the dairy, the family
operates an on-site farmstead gourmet cheese manufacturing facility. Marisa
Simoes, daughter of Rob and Jeannie, manages the cheese operation and markets
her prize-winning Three Sisters Serena and Serenita cheeses in specialty
markets around the world.

Environmental sustainability has been a hallmark of the
Hilarides family dairy from day one. The now-defunct Lindsay Olive Growers
cooperative once operated a series of brine treatment ponds where the milking
facility and cheese operation stand today. When the olive operation was sold,
the City of Lindsay inherited the site, which was essentially a 160-acre bowl
that captured rainwater runoff, exacerbating infiltration of salt to local
groundwater. Remediation costs were $10 million – something the city could not
afford. The Hilarides family was able to provide a viable alternative by
filling in the former brine ponds with compacted soil, capping them with
concrete and clay, creating the footprint of the milking facility. Rain no
longer can infiltrate the brine pond, and the threat to groundwater has been
greatly reduced.

Another sustainable feature of this dairy is its biogas
digester, a covered lagoon that captures biogas from manure to generate
renewable green energy that is used to supply the dairy’s fuel and electricity
needs.

The Hilarides family has a long history in the dairy
business. Robs grandparents, Bob and Maaike, both Dutch immigrants, first
operated a dairy in the Long Beach area in 1930. Robs parents, Frank and Lois,
operated dairies in Cerritos and Ontario. Rob and Jeannie moved to Tulare
County in 1980 to raise their family. They operated a milk-hauling business and
heifer ranch prior to opening the new dairy in 2003.


Print this page

Related



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*