Brent Verwey - Carmel Valley
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.