CASCO (WKOW) -- When the Kinnards decided to expand their dairy farm a few years back, they did so with sustainability and cow comfort in mind.
"Part of what really gets me up and gets me going in the morning is forever pursuing the better way of doing things," Vice President and CEO of Kinnard Farms Lee Kinnard said.
That meant building a cross vent barn to house 6000 cows, adding a cooling wall to one side of the barn which uses recycled wash water, and installing fans on the other side of the barn to pull cool air through for cow comfort.
The Kinnards use sand to bed the cows, so they installed a sand-recycling facility which reclaims and washes bedding sand using recycled water . Lee saw an opportunity to improve the process…
"Came up with the world's first sand dryer, which has really produced some pretty incredible results," Kinnard said. "It's giving us sand that's absolutely free of bacteria."
The Kinnard family also practices no-till farming and strip cropping methods to help preserve the 10,000 acres of land on which they grow feed.
For the Kinnards, it's not so much about winning awards as it is about gaining recognition for sustaining land and water resources for future generations.
"That's a pretty prestigious award," Kinnard said. "And I know the applicant pool was you know, pretty lofty, so very humbling for us to have received that award."
Kinnard Farms is a family-owned dairy and crop farm that was founded in 1948 with a passion for animals and a commitment to caring for the environment. The Kinnards received their award June 28, 2017 at a ceremony in Chicago.