It is a sunny, fall morning in Rickreall, Oregon and the smell of manure is in the air. Louie Kazemier pulls up in a three-ton pickup with a beaming smile. The cheerful moos of his 3,500 Holstein cows echo in response across the valley.
Louie is a humble dairyman. When he brought his 700 cows to the Willamette Valley in 1991 from San Diego, he never expected Rickreall Dairy to grow into the operation it is now, producing 17,500 gallons of milk a day. He also never expected to receive a national dairy award recognizing his sustainability efforts. And he never expected his conservation efforts to lead the way in innovative sustainable dairying practices across the state.
Rickreall Dairy is the story of many. This family-owned farm parallels the innovative work of dairies all over Oregon, many of which demonstrate sustainability by capitalizing on waste.
STACY FOSTER SELECTED TO MANAGE OREGON DAIRY INDUSTRY RELATIONS
With more than a decade of experience leading farm tours for thousands of students, teachers and parents at a nationally recognized Oregon dairy, Stacy Foster knows a thing or two about dairy farming. That background will serve her well as the new Industry Relations and Communications Manager for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.
“We are very excited to have Stacy working for dairy in Oregon,” said Pete Kent, Executive Director for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “She brings a strong skill set to the table and possesses a vision and commitment to serve Oregon’s dairy farm families.”
Dairy Farmer Beefs Up Sustainability, Saves Dough
The farming industry has gotten a call-to-action from a dairy farmer in Oregon to engage in sustainable practices. “Every dairyman has to do this,” said Louie Kazemier, co-owner of Rickreall Dairy (via Capital Press). “We save money, it lowered costs of production, and it makes us more money…”
Rickreall Dairy recently won the national Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award for its measures that include:
- Partnering with a neighbor farm to send the dairy’s solid waste there as fertilizer for its crops, in exchange for feed;
- Collaborating with a local food processor to recycle water for irrigation;
- Allowing for transparency of its dairy by its open-door policy and by hosting guided tours;
- Working with 18 different government agencies and being inspected once a month.
The award is given for sustainable practices that include energy and water conservation, cow care, and nutrient management.
Oregon Dairy honored for its sustainable practices
Rickreall, Ore. — Rickreall Dairy is the first farm in Oregon to receive the national Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award.
The dairy near Salem was one of three U.S. farms selected this year for the award by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. The award is given for sustainable practices in such areas as cow care, energy conservation, water conservation, nutrient management and business and employee relations.
The third-generation farm, owned and operated by Louie and Lori Kazemier, houses 3,500 Holstein cows that produce approximately 50.4 million gallons of milk annually — about 138,000 gallons a day.
Rickreall Dairy wins innovation award for sustainable practices, happy cows
The Rickreall Dairy and owner Louie Kazmier won the Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
The dairy, 10 miles west of Salem, won for its “sustainable practices in areas of cow care, energy conservation, water conservation, nutrient management, and business and employee relations” officials with the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council said.
“Our animals are very tame here,” Kazmier said during a tour of the dairy. “As we're walking around, you'll notice that they're not afraid of humans at all. We have a very strict policy as far as what our employees can do to get an animal to move.”