“When life is whizzing by it’s easy to forget about sustainability,” says Steve Maddox. “But when you live and work here, sustainability is more than a catch phrase; it’s a way of life. It’s all around us. That’s how our story starts.”
Maddox Dairy is a 3,640 hectare dairy and crop farm in California with a passion for animal care and advancing innovative ideas for sustainable solutions.
“My grandfather started with one cow and a belief that sustainability and a brighter future are possible for everyone,” says Steve Maddox Jr. Today, the Maddox family to do more than discover and test new solutions — they share their experiences with other farmers so that they may find similar success.
Through early adoption of technologies, the Maddox family has developed solutions in terms of animal care, dairy sustainability and overall environmental health — all while also ensuring financial stability for future generations.
The Maddox family installed a 1-megawatt solar power generator in 2012. Currently generating enough electricity to cover 80 percent of electricity demand, the project is on track to meet its three-year return on investment. The solar project reduced grid-based energy use from 2,197,301 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually to solar-based 2,101,924 kWh annually. This represents a 95.6 percent reduction in carbon-intensive grid power from a renewable source.
They also added high-efficiency, variable-speed pumps and mixing boxes to blend irrigation water with manure water using gravity instead of mechanical blending. The irrigation technology decreased the number of pumps used to move irrigation water across fields, contributed to more uniform distribution of nutrients and reduced commercial fertilizer purchases. See www.thinkusadairy.org.