Five Star Dairy LLC, of Elk Mound, Wis., was honored as the 2010 Dairy Business Association Environmental Excellence Award. The award was developed to recognize a Wisconsin farmer in honor of his or her outstanding waste and pollution prevention projects that protect the state’s natural resources.
Five Star Dairy, along with Dairyland Power and Stargest Power LLC, constructed a thermophylic complete mix digester. The digester uses methane and other byproducts to generate electricity and provide power for approximately 600 homes in the Elk Mound area. Lee Jensen, general manager of Five Star Dairy, also installed a lagoon cover so that the manure lagoon can work as a digester in the future.
In addition, the cover keeps 1.5 million gallons of rain water out of the lagoon. As a result, less fuel is needed to spread the manure and incorporate nutrients into the soil. This project is the first successful thermophylic complete mix digester with a separate substrate tank for agriculture use.
“Wisconsin dairy producers are committed to environmental excellence through their everyday efforts on today’s dairy farms,” says Laurie Fischer, DBA executive director. “We are proud to recognize Five Star Dairy LLC for its innovation and leadership in generating electricity with agricultural byproducts and going above and beyond to protect our environment and natural resources.”
Fischer, along with DBA President Jerry Meissner, honored Five Star Dairy during a special awards presentation held Sept. 30 at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. On behalf of Five Star Dairy, Jensen received a commemorative plaque and a check for $500.
This is the inaugural year of the DBA Environmental Excellence Award program. Producers submitted comprehensive applications detailing their projects and environmental efforts. An appointed selection committee reviewed applications and selected a winner to be approved by the DBA board of directors.