Agriculture: Wilcox Farms, Stemilt Growers
September 23, 2010
By Wes Simons
|Wilcox Family Farms CEO Linda Thomas|
Wilcox Family Farms
What came first, the organically raised chicken or the organic egg? At Wilcox, its all part of the same cradle-to-cradle environmentally focused cycle. It begins (or ends, depending on how you look at it) with the water. Waste products from the chickens gets turned into organic fertilizer: Wilcox uses the wastewater from egg cleaning and runoff to water crops. The organically grown crops are then fed to the flock of chickens, and the chickens lay the eggs.
Wilcox Farms has been family owned for four generations, and keeping things in the family has allowed for a clear and concise environmental policy. The staff has pledged to implement sustainable business practices wherever possible, and it participates in annual humane animal treatment training programs to ensure that the chickens are just as happy as Wilcoxs customers.
As the largest grower of organic tree fruit in the United States, Stemilt Growers trees need plenty of fertilizer. In 2005, the company began turning all of its green waste, including culled fruit and broken pallets, into nutrient-rich compost. In 2009, Stemilt extended its composting to include commercial and residential lawn clippings and green waste, saving an estimated 200 truckloads of waste from ending up in landfills annually. Stemilt employees and their dependents also benefit from a free on-site health clinic provided by the company.
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