After both fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe, Bill and Ellen Straus started their dairy farm in the 1940’s. They only started with a few cows, naming them after their friends and family. All four of their children were raised on their farm. By the time they reached adulthood, the California dairy industry was in transition, and a different, much larger, industrial type of dairy farm had begun to spread itself on the land. By the 1970s, the typical landscape of small family dairy farming in Northern California had shifted dramatically.
After their son Albert graduated from California Polytechnic State University in the 1970’s, he returned to the farm, where he and his father Bill began using more innovative ideas to ensure that they were stewards of the land. They eliminated the use of pesticides and herbicides and then proceeded to cut out tilling the fields to reduce soil erosion and fuel consumption. Also, they stopped the usage of chemical fertilizers in the early-80’s. Albert had the idea to use food waste such as orange peels and pulp as well as sake waste for animal feed. Albert converted his family farm to organic in 1994, becoming the first certified organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River and creating the demand for organic dairy milk.
In 2004, Albert introduced a manure wastewater pond system (methane digester) that became an integral part of his carbon farm plan. The digester captures methane (a greenhouse gas) from the cows’ manure and transforms it into electricity. The manure goes through a separator, which splits solids from liquids. The solids are then composted while the liquids are piped into a second pond covered with an enormous tarp. Under the tarp, the liquid manure is transformed by bacteria through the process of anaerobic digestion. The result of this sustainable practice is renewable energy in the form of methane gas, carbon dioxide, and a small amount of hydrogen sulfite.
The digester has significantly reduced methane emissions by more than 1,600 metric tons of CO2e each year — equivalent to eliminating the annual greenhouse gas emissions from about 350 passenger cars.
The Straus Family Creamery is proudly the first 100% certified organic creamery in the United States. The Creamery produces non-homogenized organic milk in reusable glass bottles. Straus has a return rate of more than 80% of their bottles. Consumers who purchase the reusable glass bottles help keep approximately 500,000 pounds of milk containers and plastic out of the landfill each year. The Straus family set the trend in the way dairy is produced in the Western United States. Currently, 90% of the dairy farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties in Northern California are certified organic.
Straus Family Creamery currently produces delicious organic ice cream mixes that feature a clean dairy taste, when mixed with the right machine it produces a smoother, creamier, and richer taste. Straus organic premium flavors include an ice cream base mix, Dutch chocolate soft serve mix, and vanilla soft serve mix. Straus Family Creamery is one of the best organic dairy companies in the west and produces such high-quality products. This is the reason why Slices Concession is proud to feature and use Straus with their machines. Below is machinery that we feel is best paired with this premium product.
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