Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/4/2012
Publication Date: 4/1/2013
Citation: Miles, D.M. 2013. White meat-green farm: case study of Brinson Farms [abstract]. Waste to Worth: "Spreading" Science and Solutions, April 1-5, 2013, Denver, CO. http://www.extension.org/pages/67659/white-meat-green-farm:-case-study-of-brinson-farms.
Technical Abstract: Comprehensive on-farm resource utilization and renewable energy generation at the farm scale are not new concepts. However, truly encompassing implementation of these ideals is lacking. Brinson Farms operates 10 commercial broiler houses. The farm generates heat for its houses using biomass boilers and litter anaerobic digestion to produce methane. Solar panels assist in heating process water for the boilers and digester. Biomass feedstock includes litter as well as municipal yard wastes. Liquid fertilizer is a product of the digester while residual solids are included in the farm’s composting operation. The operator has used a futuristic approach to not only attain energy independence for the farm, but also to comprehensively utilize byproducts of production and other local “wastes”, diverting them from local landfills. Considering the propane cost for a single winter flock has reached $66,000 and the annual electric bill may be $120,000, energy costs very much affect grower profitability. This approach decreases the uncertainty in energy costs. Brinson Farms provides a unique look into ensuring long-term farm sustainability in an environmentally friendly way and with a wide-ranging systems approach to management.