By Sunny Andersen
Stearns County (Minnesota) Farm Bureau members Steve and Cheryl Schlangen are one of four dairies to receive the 2022 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
Schlangen Dairy implements numerous environmentally friendly practices on their 60-cow, 200-acre farm in central Minnesota. The farm incorporates over 30 conservation practices, providing a blueprint for beginning farmers and generational farms to follow.
Practices include LED lighting, cover crops, a manure-stacking slab that prevents nutrient leaching into the water and a manure injection system that uses less time, less fuel and has virtually eliminated the need for commercial fertilizer on their crops.
The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards program recognizes farms, businesses and partnerships for socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally sound practices and technologies that have a broad and positive environmental impact.
Through the awards, the farmer-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has recognized more than 80 winners from nearly 300 nominees since their creation in 2012.
Sunny Andersen, a senior at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, recently concluded a summer internship in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Communications Department.