TUCKER, Ga. -- U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is releasing a fifth video in a series highlighting environmental stewardship on poultry and egg farms. The video features one of USPOULTRY’s Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award winners, Riverhill Farms of Port Republic, Va.
Riverhill Farms is owned and operated by Glenn and Sheri Rodes, along with their parents, brothers and extended family. The Rodes raise turkeys, dairy and beef cattle, corn and forage. Their farm has five turkey barns, and they raise 280,000 turkeys per flock for Cargill Turkey Production.
Because of their location in the Shenandoah Valley where soil phosphorus levels can be elevated, the Rodes work hard to properly manage their nutrients. Poultry litter and other combustible material is used as a fuel source in a biomass burner that generates hot water. The hot water flows through pipes in the floor of the turkey houses to keep the turkeys warm during the winter months.
The Rodes’ passion for identifying alternate fuel sources drove them to build a small operation that manufactures biodiesel from canola and soybeans grown on their farm. Biodiesel generated on the farm is used to fuel tractors and other farm equipment. Byproducts generated during the manufacture of biodiesel, which include dry seed hulls and glycerin, are recycled by feeding them to cattle raised on Riverhill Farms.
'We are a family that has been farming for generations. While the past is interesting, the future is exciting. Searching for new or better ways to farm not only helps us now, it keeps the next generation engaged and interested in farming,' said Glenn Rodes.
“USPOULTRY and our members know the significance of exemplary environmental stewardship. We are pleased to be able to provide this video series highlighting the environmental efforts of our family farmers,” commented Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods, and USPOULTRY chairman.
Riverhill Farm was recognized for exemplary environmental stewardship by family farms engaged in poultry and egg production. Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award winners are rated in several categories, including dry litter or liquid manure management, nutrient management planning, community involvement, wildlife enhancement techniques, innovative nutrient management techniques and participation in education or outreach programs.
The video can be viewed on USPOULTRY’s YouTube Channel by clicking here.