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Rokita On the Road - March 9 - Fair Oaks Dairy
March 9, 2012
As I travel across Indiana, I have the opportunity to meet with many wonderful Hoosiers and learn about the exciting things they are doing to make our state and nation great. Last month, I met with another fine Hoosier farm, whose exciting work I wanted to bring to your attention.
I recently met with Gary Corbett, CEO of Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Indiana. During that meeting, Gary shared with me the disturbing fact that few Americans have any real exposure with American agriculture, with less than 2 percent of Americans owning or working on a farm. It should come as no surprise that our nation has struggled with a variety of health and environmental problems as we become disconnected from our agricultural heritage. The people at Fair Oaks Farms are doing something about it, and in the best Hoosier way, they are turning a profit too.
Fair Oaks Dairy, while still serving as a working farm, has created a dairy education center that teaches people young and old about dairy farms and animal husbandry. Almost a half million people visit the dairy annually. In the coming years; hogs, chickens, cattle, and fish farming will be brought to the education center. Their goal is to become the nation’s premier Agritourism destination where “every day is extraordinary.”
The farm is also on the cutting edge of technology, harvesting 100% of the waste produced by their dairy cows, turning that waste into enough electricity to operate the farm and even sell some of it back to the nation’s power grid. The farm also operates one of the nation’s largest tractor trailer fleets running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), this is enough bio-fuel to take 1.8 million gallons of diesel off the road. The farm’s recycling processes also enables it to create nutrient rich algae to help feed the cows, and a natural nitrogen fertilizer never captured before.
Fair Oaks Farm is another great example of Hoosier ingenuity and hard work. Thank you for taking the time to let me share their story with you.