Bartels Farms

Sustainability and "Upcycling" Practices

Because our operations are Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, any effluent (wastewater) generated from the harvest operation contains purely natural elements. Our sanitary interventions require industry standard organic compounds that ensure that nothing harmful to humans, animals or the environment is ever spread on our adjacent 300 acre ranch. Bartels Farms uses no pesticides, defoliants, or commercial fertilizers.

To comply and operate our business in a way that minimally impacts our employees, neighboring community and global environment, Bartels Farms enlisted the expert oversight of an Agronomist/Biologist to create a Wastewater Management Plan that was reviewed and approved by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). This Plan allows Bartels Farms to apply wastewater to our agricultural land; wastewater that is rich in organic nitrogen, a chemical that has a profound beneficial impact on our environment. When organic nitrogen is applied to land at agronomic levels it creates healthy, fast growing grass rich in nutrients that will be consumed by grazing cattle, creating a cycle of sustainability. As we grow, we are continually reassessing, modifying and enhancing our Waste Water Management Plan and have retained the services of a Consulting Engineering Firm from Portland, Oregon to provide oversight while we become educated to responsibly manage and sustain our operations and agricultural land, proactively and autonomously. Toward that effort, Bartels Farms has invested over $750,000 for consulting and educational services, new equipment to facilitate our sustainability efforts, and testing programs that confirm that the organic components (manure and wastewater) are responsibly applied at agronomic levels. These efforts require a financial commitment that Bartels Farms feel is necessary and beneficial to ensure our operations minimally impact our employees and neighboring community.

As new innovations for upcycling are developed, Bartels Farms is committed to incorporating these environmentally responsible practices into our operations. "Upcycling" as opposed to "recycling" is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality that have better environmental value. And to put this theory to use: Bartels Farms is preparing to partner with a local company that owns and operates methane digesters and will send all of the waste and manure generated from our operation to be converted into methane fuel that would then fuel the boilers at our facility. This is the true essence of sustainability and we are excited!! Other efforts we are making toward sustainability and respectfully maintaining our agricultural land are:

  • Composting and spreading manure rich in organic nitrogen that increases the nutrient content of the grass our cattle graze upon, which, in turn, contributes to healthier cattle and ultimately healthier meat that is wholesome and good for our bodies.
  • Responsible application of wastewater upon our acreage is monitored and tested with quarterly grab samples and analyzed for BOD, COD, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen, Ammonia Nitrogen, Phosphorus and PH. These analyses aid in establishing a rotation schedule among identified plots of acreage to ensure wastewater and manure application is performed at agronomic levels and not allowed to pool during the rainy season, preventing discharge into culverts and streams that would negatively impact natural water sources.
  • Any part of the carcass that cannot be used for either human consumption or pet food is sent to rendering companies where oils are extracted and used as an additive in bio diesel production.
  • The blood from the harvest process is separated from the wastewater, coagulated and sent to the renderer for proteins and oils. Future plans are that the blood and manure would be sent to a methane digester that would convert it to methane and fuel the boilers in our plant.
  • The dry matter product (meat and bone meal) is the primary product renderers reprocess to produce pet food.