Land O’Lakes, Inc. and California Bioenergy (CalBio) have launched a first-of-its-kind collaboration to support on-farm methane digesters to generate renewable compressed natural gas (“R-CNG”) fuel in California. The hope is the innovative farmer-led model for “barn to biogas” could shape nationwide solutions to agricultural methane emissions reduction and unlock new revenue streams for dairy farmers.
As one of the nation’s largest agricultural cooperatives, Land O’Lakes is uniquely positioned to tap into the potential power of California dairy farmers to generate renewable energy from farm waste. CalBio provides the expertise needed to develop, execute, and manage on-farm methane digesters, as well as market R-CNG credits in California, in a manner that is cost effective for farmers.
This partnership with CalBio will also help Land O’Lakes dairy member-owners in California to meet new state standards that call for a 40 percent reduction in dairy and livestock manure-related methane emissions from 2013 levels by 2030.
“Land O’Lakes and CalBio are creating the end-to-end sustainability infrastructure that farmers need to make ‘barn-to-biogas’ a reality,” said Matt Carstens, senior vice president, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. “This is impact investing at its best – eliminating barriers to the adoption of new sustainability technology, unlocking new revenue streams for farmers, cutting emissions, and creating a public good.”
“CalBio’s dairy digesters are proven in California. We are excited to expand that work even further through this collaboration with Land O’Lakes and their member-owners in California,” said Neil Black, president of CalBio. “Our expertise and ongoing operational support will help dairy farmers make the most of a significant new revenue stream through biogas generation, while allowing them to stay focused on doing what they do best – producing wholesome, delicious food in a sustainable way.”
“Working with everyone at CalBio has been an absolute pleasure. It is a breath of fresh air to work with a company that has your best interest at heart,” said Dave Ribeiro of Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare, California and Land O’Lakes, Inc. member-owner. “Professional, compassionate, and thorough would be an understatement to describe CalBio. I am looking forward to the success this partnership will bring.”
To further its commitment to supporting member-owners around environmental sustainability, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN recently launched Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN Innovation Financing, which offers eligible member-owners up to $3 million in financing for large-scale sustainability projects, including methane digesters. This financing is available specifically to help Land O’Lakes dairy member-owners implement new technologies or management systems focused on driving measurable outcomes for air, soil or water.
This announcement builds on the pioneering work of Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, which was recently honored on Fortune’s Change the World list.