Manure Manager

News
Groundbreaking held for PA composting facility


April 23, 2010
By Manure Manager

April 21, 2010, Lancaster
County, PA – Local and regional leaders recently broke ground on an innovative
facility that may be the first-of-its-kind to turn both excess manure from
local farms and waste from yards and kitchens into compost and prevent polluted
runoff from reaching Lancaster County’s streams and rivers.



April 21, 2010, Lancaster
County, PA – Local and regional leaders recently broke ground on an innovative
facility that may be the first-of-its-kind to turn both excess manure from
local farms and waste from yards and kitchens into compost and prevent polluted
runoff from reaching Lancaster County’s streams and rivers.

By composting manure from
local farms, food waste from local schools and restaurants, and leaves and yard
waste from Manheim Township, the new facility – Oregon Dairy Organics – will
turn trash into treasure for organic farmers, home gardeners, landscapers, and
park and athletic field managers. Oregon Dairy Organics will be selling
finished compost by this fall.

While many townships
operate larger regional composting facilities for greenwaste, few of them
accept manure because of the odor and transporting manure can be expensive
beyond about 10 to 15 miles. These municipal facilities must add commercial
nitrogen to make the composting work because greenwaste contains very little
nitrogen, which is a required ingredient to make compost. 

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“The Oregon Dairy Organics
composting facility will play an important role in helping Pennsylvania meet
the co-equal goals of clean water and viable farms,” said Pennsylvania
Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding. “Knowing the important role
Pennsylvania plays in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, we must find innovative
ways to protect our natural resources and increase the profitability of our
farms. The Oregon Dairy Organics team has created a model that will benefit the
community, the farms and our waterways.”

Oregon Dairy Organics
brings together an innovative partnership to demonstrate how composting can
play a bigger role in improving water quality in southeastern Pennsylvania and
other areas of the Chesapeake Bay by giving farmers expanded options for
nutrient management. The project combines the efficiencies and professional
management of composting multiple waste streams at one site, with the need to
avoid the size, traffic, and hauling expenses of a large-scale regional
composting facility. 

Oregon Dairy Organics has
the diversity of partners and stakeholders needed to make it work: Oregon Dairy
and the Hurst Family to provide a farm site for the project; a professional
composting company, Terra-Gro, will help manage the facility and market the
finished compost; a local agricultural consulting company, TeamAg Inc., to
coordinate farmer participation in the project; and a nonprofit conservation
organization, Environmental Defense Fund, to coordinate the overall project and
secure needed funding.

Oregon Dairy is known for
its conservation efforts. The operation is home to a 500-cow and 450-heifer
dairy farm, grocery store, restaurant and lawn and garden center. The farm has
been recognized numerous times for its efforts to protect water quality and
other natural resources, including being awarded the prestigious Outstanding
Cooperator Award by the Lancaster Conservation District in March of 2008.


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