Our Sustainability Practices
South Mountain Creamery’s goal is to be a completely self-sustaining farm, meaning we will use our own resources to power our farms. As a sustainable farm, we will:
- Satisfy human food and fiber needs.
- Enhance environmental quality and the natural resources upon which the agricultural economy depends.
- Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources.
- Sustain the economic viability of farm operations.
- Improve the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.
South Mountain Creamery intends to leave a rural legacy to future generations. SMC Farms have 2,200 acres of preserved farm land: part of the largest agricultural preservation in the country. We are the largest farm in Frederick County to be part of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation. One of our primary objectives is to be environmentally responsible in all of our agricultural practices. Some of the ways this occurs on our farm:
- We use and reuse glass bottles for our milk, saving thousands of plastic containers of waste each week.
- We reduce waste through milking with washable towels.
- We use only environmentally-friendly LED lights and HVAC systems in our offices.
- Our soybean press allows us to produce our own soybean meal for animal feed, the byproduct of which is soy oil which can be converted into biodiesel to fuel equipment.
- We install more soil conservation BMPs than almost all other farms in Maryland.
- We utilize cover crops to keep our soil nutritient-rich and healthy for production.
- We plant using no-till methods, meaning we don't rip up our soil and disturb the natural process of reproduction in the soil.
- We inject our manure into the ground instead of laying it on top of the ground, in order to prevent runoff and keep our watersheds clean.
A Sustainable Future
SMC Farms will continue to grow in our Sustainability efforts. Here are some of our goals in the near future:
ELECTRICITY: A methane digester is a series of processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. They can be used to manage waste and/or to release energy. This is where manure comes in … we will burn the methane in a converted internal combustion engine that will power an electric generator, supplying South Mountain Creamery with all of our power needs. This process also produces extra heat that will be used to dry grain and to heat the cow barn, milking parlor, and creamery offices.
GEOTHERMAL: Energy from the ground will be transferred to a cooler, which is then exchanged to a heater.
SOLAR: The roof of our Certified Humane chicken house provides an excellent surface area for our anticipated southern facing solar panels. These will provide enough energy to power the new chicken house, egg packer, and grader.
We have worked, and are currently working with, contracted companies to achieve these initiatives, including Red Barn Consultants, to find energy grants and additional funding for these exciting projects.