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Sustainability in America's Dairyland

The Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality travels to Wisconsin to see how a farm and cheese factory are able to power their operations and nearby homes with sustainable technology.

Last week, I joined Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle for a tour of the Crave Brothers Farm and Dairy in Waterloo, WI. The Crave brothers, Charles, George, Thomas and Mark, showed us some of the ways they are using modern sustainable technology to power their farm and make tasty cheese at the same time!

The brothers power their farm and cheese factory using an anaerobic digestion system, which turns organic waste into fuel, and cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions.  When the process is finished, there is even enough power left over to heat the surrounding homes in the Waterloo area!

As we toured the farm, we discussed opportunities for farmers to lead the way in renewable energy jobs, sustainable farming techniques, and healthier living. I would like to thank Governor Doyle and the Crave Brothers for giving us the chance to see, first-hand, how science and technology are shaping a sustainable future for America.

The tour reiterated some of the issues we had discussed that day at the Society of Environmental Journalists Conference in Madison, WI. In the morning, I had participated in a panel entitled "Countdown to Copenhagen" and after the tour, I returned to the conference and spoke with Secretary Vilsack on a panel entitled "Meet Your New Bosses" about the Obama Administration’s environmental policy goals.

Nancy Sutley is the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality