Corporate Livestock Partnerships

Bion Environmental Technologies and Dakota Valley Growers Plan Sustainable Cattle Feeding Operation

Cattle Beef Bion

Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc. (website), a leader in cutting-edge livestock waste treatment technology and premium sustainable beef production, has announced a letter of intent with Dakota Valley Growers, a cattle feeder based near Bathgate, North Dakota. The companies plan to establish a 15,000-head sustainable beef cattle feeding operation, expected to produce approximately 42,500 head premium sustainable beef cattle annually.

The Dakota Valley Growers (DVG) project will feature indoor barns to enable cattle to focus on protein development rather than expending energy on maintaining body temperature or navigating mud. These barns will be equipped with slatted floors, facilitating continuous manure removal and processing. In addition, the facility’s anaerobic digesters will produce nearly 84,000 MMBTU of RNG, which can replace 643,000 gallons of diesel with a low-carbon alternative transportation fuel.

Using Bion’s Gen3Tech system, the operation will capture and stabilize volatile ammonia nitrogen in the manure stream, upcycling it into a low-carbon “Climate Smart” pure nitrogen fertilizer product. As a result, the cattle will generate roughly 4,000 tons of sustainably produced nitrogen fertilizer each year to fertilize over 11,000 acres of North Dakota corn. The system will also recover other fertilizer products, including some organic and nine million gallons of clean water suitable for irrigation or herd watering with minimal additional treatment.

Transparent, third-party verified blockchain technology will support the RNG, nutrient, and water recovery process. Combined with cattle production history, the data will underpin a sustainable brand certified by the USDA’s Process-Verified-Program (PVP). Sustainability will be assessed based on improvements in resource efficiency, animal health, and welfare, and minimized environmental impacts, and will be communicated to consumers at the point of sale. According to Tyson Foods, consumers are willing to pay at least 24% more for eco-friendly, sustainable options at retail outlets.

Russell Edgar, the founder of Dakota Valley Growers, sees Bion’s involvement as an opportunity to simultaneously enhance their product’s sustainability and profitability. In addition, he believes keeping cattle in North Dakota will boost local demand for corn and other feeds, services, and jobs, benefiting all parties involved. 

Ed Schafer, a member of Bion’s Board and former US Secretary of Agriculture and North Dakota Governor, stated that although it may have been advantageous in the past to ship corn and calves south for finishing, it is no longer the best option. Instead, he looks forward to collaborating with the North Dakota Livestock Alliance, Beef Commission, Stockmen’s Association, and other stakeholders to create the most Climate-Smart and Water-Smart beef cattle projects in the world, right in North Dakota.

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash 

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