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McComb dairy farm wins national environmental award

Mauthe's Milk BarnSpecial to the MBJ

Mauthe’s Progress Milk Barn, an organic, 100 percent grass-fed dairy farm in McComb, is one of three national winners of the “People & Planet Award” presented by Green America, a national green economy organization.

The award recognizes innovative entrepreneurial U.S. businesses that integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations.

Each of three winners will receive $5,000. Other winners are Feed Earth Now of Chicago and FLS Energy of Asheville, N.C. Winners were selected by the public during a month-long open voting period online at Green America’s website.

Mauthe’s Progress was the first dairy farm in Louisiana or Mississippi to reduce its carbon footprint, according to a new release announcing the winners. Mauthe’s Progress Milk Barn sells its product exclusively within 100 miles of the farm and bottles a majority of its milk in reusable glass bottles, which saves an estimated 500 plastic jugs from landfills per week.

“We are over the top about winning the People & Planet Award!” Jaime Mauthe, owner of Mauthe’s Progress Milk Barn, said in the release.  “We’ve been wanting to improve the efficiency of our rotational grazing by making and supplying our own organic fertilizer, and this award will help us secure the tools we need to do that – pipes, fittings, tanks, and an irrigation pump.  We look forward to even greater returns from our pasture-grazing, all-organic-fed cows.”

This round of the awards focused on green businesses that had inspired the community development lenders and credit unions that made their financing possible.

“The ‘People & Planet’ award winners this quarter were all nominated by local community development banks and credit unions,” said Alisa Gravitz, president of Green America. “This is important because local community development lenders are often the lifelines and lifeblood of great small businesses with big ideas, big enthusiasm, but fledgling funding.

“Without community development lenders, many great and green small businesses could not get off the ground, so it’s especially exciting when the community lenders themselves highlight their best green business success stories, including all of the winners today.”

Feed Earth Now has pioneered a technique to rapidly convert large volumes of food scraps into a nutrient rich, all-natural, pathogen-free microbial fertilizer.  Feed Earth Now’s product is an alternate to petro-driven fertilizers, and it reduces food waste in the process.

FLS Energy opened its doors in 2006 with financing from local community banks. Its mission, then and now, is to bring solar energy into mainstream North Carolina.  FLS Energy operates a portfolio of 50 megawatts of solar power, and plans an expansion of 70 megawatts (350 acres) of solar power in 2014.

The next round of Green America’s quarterly award will be given to three green businesses with 50 or fewer employees that focus on “green” products for kids.

Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) was founded in 1982 and provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals.



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