By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only


A Connecticut dairy co-op has received $33,000 from the
federal government to develop an alternative use for manure.

USDA spokesman Daniel Beudette said:

"If this thing clicks, these guys can probably make more
money on the manure than they can on milk."

I am relieved to know that our government is putting money
where their mouth is!

This story appeared in the August 21, 2002 Connecticut
Courant (by Jesse Leavenworth).

The author interviewed one farmer, Ben Freund, who stood by
his man-made lagoon which held nearly 4 million pounds of
raw liquid manure. Farmer Freund remarked:

"Nobody wants anybody else's [manure]."

Guess what word he really used?

My response to Farmer Freund's comment, to coin a popular
expression: "No [manure], Sherlock!"

Farmer Ben and brother Matt have 240 cows, and their least
favorite tool of trade is the shovel. They've invented a
method of compressing the manure into a small square
composed of dirt, manure, and growth medium. That and an
implanted seed would result in an easy-to-decompose
gardening aid for next spring. Now, why didn't I think of

I spoke with farmer Matt and congratulated him on his
vision. I commented that his 4 million pounds of poop is a
mere drop in the bucket when compared to all of the poop
generated by American dairy cows. He recognizes this, and
suggested that sometimes we have to think "outside of the
box." Matt Freund is right, of course. He and the other
farmers in that Connecticut dairy co-op own and milk 2,000
cows, but their dairy business outlook is a bit lower than
the retail value of all the Holstein Havarti in Hartford.

A dairy cow produces 150 pounds of free fertilizer per day.
America's 9.2 million dairy cows produce over 500 billion
pounds of this funky stuff each year.

What do progressive farmers do with their liquid manure
these days? Efficient systems transport liquid feces and
urine to machines that spray crops. Wonder why there is an
occasional case of E. coli poisoning after broc-coli

Coming soon to a Target store near you. No store employee
need memorize the aisle location. Follow the bouquet.

Robert Cohen, author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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