Brent Verwey - Carmel Valley
Brent's farm is located in the heart of Carmel Valley and specializes in growing organic fruits and vegetables. The farm is committed to sustainable farming practices and to providing the freshest, highest quality produce possible.
Brent is a strong supporter of Carmel Valley's agricultural community and is passionate about helping it thrive. He is an active member of the Carmel Valley Farmers Association and Carmel Valley Growers Association. He also serves on the board of directors for the Carmel Valley Agricultural Land Trust.
In his free time, Brent enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters. He also enjoys hiking, cycling, and camping.
Philip Verwey Farms consists of about 4,600 acres, 10,000 milking cows and 7,000 young cows not yet in the milking herd. And, with that many animals, there is bound to be some major manure. Instead of letting all this waste simply go to waste, the Verwey family turns it into electricity. And bedding for their cows. And fertilizer for the fields. Oh, and at full capacity, their anaerobic digester can create enough energy to power the farm and allow the Verweys to sell two-thirds of the total energy back to their local utility cooperative. For the family, being good stewards of the land also means emissions reduction and water conservation are top priorities for themselves and their employees.
Philip Verwey Farms’ diesel-to-electric conversion was one of 56 funding applications—and the only dairy-related project—to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Technology Advancement Program. His idea: Rather than blending feed ingredients for his cows in a mixing wagon powered by a diesel tractor, he would blend using an electric stationary mixer. This change significantly reduced the amount of run time by his diesel engines, lowering diesel consumption by 71 percent per month. “In addition to being good for the environment, the change provided other positive benefits,” Verwey said. “The texture and composition of the feed improved, which is good for our cows.” Verwey’s idea reduced oxides of nitrogen emissions by 90 percent, providing the inspiration and model for other dairy farmers to take similar action to improve air quality. “The air district saw the success of our project,” Verwey said. “That led to an expanded program that will fund up to 75 percent of the cost of future conversions to electric mixers for dairy feed.” To date, 15 California dairy farms have submitted applications to the program and four are under contract to begin converting their feed mixers to electricity.