Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN and California Bioenergy aim to make 'Barn-to-Biogas' a reality 

Together, Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN and CalBio will eliminate barriers to the adoption of new sustainability technology on farm

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A new collaboration between Land O’Lakes, through Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, and California Bioenergy LLC (CalBio), a renewable energy company, will make barn-to-biogas a reality in California – unlocking new revenue streams for our member-owners, generating renewable energy from farm waste, and demonstrating the leadership of Land O’Lakes member-owners on issues of national importance.

While there is a lot of excitement around the idea of barn-to-biogas in California, particularly as the state implements new regulations that require significant dairy and livestock methane emissions reductions, this collaboration is the first step to turn it into a reality at a large scale.

As one of the nation’s largest farmer-owned agricultural cooperatives, Land O’Lakes is uniquely positioned to tap into the potential power of our California dairy farmers to generate renewable compressed natural gas (R-CNG) from farm waste. Meanwhile, CalBio, a Visalia, California-based company, has deep expertise in developing, executing and managing on-farm methane digesters, as well as marketing renewable compressed natural gas credits in California.

Together, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and CalBio will eliminate barriers to the adoption of new sustainability technology on farm, including making methane digesters more cost-effective for Land O’Lakes member-owners in California. Energy generated from those methane digesters will be piped to a gas scrubbing system and then injected into the natural gas pipeline – providing renewable fuel to keep California’s lights on and creating a new revenue stream for Land O’Lakes member-owners.

This collaboration will also help Land O’Lakes member-owners in California to meet new state standards that call for a 40 percent reduction in dairy and livestock manure-related methane emissions from 2013 levels by 2030. Lessons learned from this collaboration can inform nationwide solutions to methane emissions reduction and be applied on Land O’Lakes member-owner operations outside of California.

In the meantime, members across the country are encouraged take advantage of a number of services available to help them accurately capture their environmental footprint and drive on-farm improvement. Whether it’s Conservation Dairy assessments, Energy Efficiency Audits or discounts on LED lighting, Land O’Lakes has services to help you drive continuous improvement.

A history of environmental stewardship

For years, Land O’Lakes member-owners in California have used methane capture and other sustainability technology to cut their emission footprint and further improve on-farm conservation. This new collaboration between Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and CalBio builds on that work.

Dave Ribeiro of Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare, California, had this to say: “Working with everyone at CalBio has been an absolute pleasure. It is a breath of fresh air to work with a company that has your best interest at heart. Professional, compassionate and thorough would be an understatement to describe CalBio. I am looking forward to the success this partnership will bring.”

To further support development of projects like installing methane digesters, and others focused on improving air, soil, and water quality, our member-farmers can apply for up to $3 million in financing for these projects through the Land O’ Lakes SUSTAIN Innovation Financing Program. Go here to read more about the Van Beek Brothers’ Dairy in California, which was the recipient of the first loan made through Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN Innovation Financing.

At Land O’Lakes, we believe that sustainability works best when it is owned and driven by farmers. To read more about how we’re working with farmers to advance sustainability in California and nationwide, go here.