EPA Recognizes California Dairy Family as 2013 Environmental Champion

solar farm

At just over 3 acres, Curtimade Dairy’s solar farm provides 85 percent of the dairy’s electricity needs with clean, green, renewable energy.

California dairy families are innovators, constantly looking for new ways to protect, conserve and improve natural resources, such as air, land and water. Every day, they renew their commitment to the environment with real action on the farm, where sustainability is a way-of-life.

Earlier this month, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) recognized a Central Valley dairy family for their dedication to improving the environment.

Curtimade Dairy, located in Tulare County, was named a 2013 Environmental Champion by EPA Region 9 for their significant contributions to protecting and conserving environmental resources. Curtimade Dairy was one of eight winners of the annually bestowed EPA award, and the only dairy to be recognized with the prestigious honor.

“Award winners are leaders who are going above and beyond to make big moves to protect the environment and support local communities,” said Jared Blumenfield, EPA’s regionaladministrator for the Pacific Southwest, in a press statement released by the agency. “Work by these groups will leave a positive, lasting impact on us all for years to come.”

Curtimade Dairy, owned and operated by Ben Curti and his daughters Katrina, Tessa and Courtney, was recognized specifically as a leader in California’s agricultural renewable energy sector. EPA stated the following about Curtimade Dairy in its Environmental Champion Award announcement:

“The dairy, located in Tulare, California, has embraced renewable energy production in a big way. Looking to reduce their overall energy use and related costs, Curtimade Dairy used underutilized land that could not be used for feed production or to house animals. On three and a half acres of this land, they installed a 719 kW, $2.9 million system, among the biggest of just a handful of dairy solar units in the U.S. The solar installation produces enough electricity to power 130 average American homes per year and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 27,000 tons over the 25-year warranted life of the solar panels, which is the equivalent to removing 192 cars from the road yearly. In addition to offsetting fossil fuel use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the dairy also sees a savings of approximately $18,000 per month in energy costs.”

For Curti, the positive recognition of a dairy farm by the EPA is a welcomed event. “We’re honored to receive the award and raise the profile of all California dairy families with EPA,” said Curti. “The 1,500 dairy families in this state work every day to protect the environment, and our sustainability story is very much like other dairy families, in that we’ve been farming for generations on the same piece of land. We’re proud of that accomplishment and committed to many more generations of environmental stewardship on the dairy.”

Dairy Cares members applaud the tremendous accomplishment of Curtimade Dairy, and all California dairy families, for their daily work in sustainably producing affordable, nutritious and safe dairy products for millions of families here at home and around the world.

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Dairy Cares is a statewide coalition supporting economic and environmental sustainability and responsible animal care. Our members include the Bank of the West, Bar 20 Dairy Farms, California Dairies Inc.,California Dairy Campaign, California Farm Bureau Federation, Conestoga-Rovers and Associates, Dairy Farmers of America-Western Area Council, Dairy Institute of California, Hilmar Cheese Co., HP Hood, Joseph Gallo Farms, Land O’Lakes, Milk Producers Council, Ruan Transport Corp., Western United Dairymen, California Cattlemen’s Association and others. For information, visit our web site or call 916-441-3318.