Business and Economics

Fair Oaks Farms Joins the C-N-G Revolution

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We all know that milk comes from cows…but the Lakeshore’s Renetta Dubose tells us how Fair Oaks Farms is using the dairy animal to sustain its business and become more environmentally friendly.

Renetta Dubose:  Fair Oaks Farms, the dairy hub just off Interstate 65 in Newton County, is celebrating a partnership that will move the company’s main product across the country in a more efficient manner.  The process will take place at a digester being built along County Road 1200-West across from the farm.  Fair Oaks spokesman Mike McCloskey says the digester technology produces a bio-gas from cow manure that converts into electricity…enough to power the entire farm.

Mike McCloskey: “Taking manure from 11 thousand cows and using half for electricity and the other half…we produced enough natural gas to run 12 million miles a year.”

Fair Oaks partnered with AMP Americas to help run trucks that will carry six-thousand gallons of milk per load on more than 50 trucks a day.  CEO Nate Laurell says after the digester process, the trucks will run on compressed natural gas.

Nate Laurell: “That manure is process into methane…natural gas like the kind in your house.  We make that into compressed natural gas for our fueling stations.”

Switching to clean energy will save Fair Oaks Farms money at the pump.  Compressed natural gas runs between two and two and a half dollars per gallon.  That is about one dollar-per gallon less than the price it takes to fill up with gasoline.

Mike McCloskey: “You have a nice savings and reducing out carbon footprint…less emissions coming  out of transportation.”

The dairy’s CNG truck fleet will transport 90-million gallons of milk per year.  Some of the milk will go to processing plants owned by Kroger…eventually filling the shelves at more than 500 stores in eight states.

Kroger spokesman John Elliott:: “They are helping us to decrease the cost customers pay in our stores.”

Greater Indiana Clean Cities executive director Kellie Walsh says projects that help reduce the nation’s 70 percent dependence on foreign oil is a step in the right direction.

Kellie Walsh: “…So we can be self sufficient…create jobs.”

Compressed natural gas stations are located in Fair Oaks and in Sellersburg, Indiana near the Kentucky state line.  AMP Americas plans to add ten more stations by the end of the year.


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