Sustainable Dairy Farm

farm family picture

photo credit: Gloria Freund

(L to R): Amanda, Isaac, Emily, Matthew, Theresa, Cole VanSeters, Sarah, Avina, Andy Jack, Ben, Debra and Rachel Freund

Sustainable Dairy Farm Family - 2nd and 3rd generation

The 2nd and 3rd generations of the Freund family strive each day to operate a sustainable dairy farm. They care for their animals, their community, their waterways and the soil of the land from which they grow the crops to feed their cows. Inherited from Eugene and Esther Freund, brothers Ben and Matt Freund have practiced sustainable dairy farm practices and conservation farming for decades.

Sustainability and the next generation

The 3rd generation recently returned to the farm, Amanda, Isaac, Rachel, and Sarah with her husband Andy are each contributing towards making the family business a sustainable dairy farm and continue to produce high quality milk (and manure for CowPots)!

Bringing in the next generation of the family to carry on the business is the most defining aspect of sustainability on Freund’s Farm, Inc.

Family Farm Newsletters with news and updates about the farm, the farmers and the cows:

Spring Farm Newsletter – June 2017
Fall Farm Newsletter – October 2016
Spring Farm Newsletter
-June 2016
Fall Farm Newsletter
-November 2015

CowPots made with solar energy

Renewable Energy

Methane Digester – in operation since 1997 to produce biogas; offsetting use of propane and heating oil on the farm. Methane is captured from the cows’ manure and used to heat hot water for all the barns and farmhouse.

Solar Panels – 500+ solar panels were installed in the winter of 2013 and went live in January 2014. These solar panels produce the equivalent of 139 kw of electricity to match the dairy farm’s electricity needs. Read more

On April 1, 2016; 699 additional solar panels were installed to produce 240 kw on the new dairy barn roof to power the CowPots facility. Utilizing renewable energy is key to being a sustainable dairy farm.

Our pots just got even greener!

12 CowPots sizes from 3" to 17"

Manure Management

Digesting manure captures methane gas and allows them to separate the solids from the liquids of their cows’ manure year round.

Separated liquids are stored in the farm’s 800,000 gallon lined lagoon until it is time to fertilize the crop fields. Because it is a liquid, they are able to pump and irrigate the manure, rather than driving back and forth from farm to field with their tractors, saving on diesel and using less fuel.

Separated solids are composted and used in the production of CowPots. To date, tens of millions of CowPots have been formed at Freund’s Farm and shipped nationally and internationally. Through the sale of this value added product, the Freunds have reduced their farm’s carbon footprint while providing an alternative to peat and plastic for gardeners and growers.

forestry stewardship, ash trees, logging


Forest Management Plan is maintained for the 130+ acres of forest at Freund’s Farm. In 2014 and 2015, a select cut of Ash trees were harvested to reduce the impacts of the Emerald Ash Borer on their wooded property while allowing for new tree growth.

Nutrient Management Plan is maintained for the 300 cows at Freund’s Farm and managing the 100 lbs of manure each cow produces EVERY day. This plan was reviewed and updated by the Natural Resource Conservation Service in 2015.

john deere harrow and cows grazing

Fields and Crop Production

Zone till and no till cropping to reduce top soil run off

Soil tests including June nitrate tests to apply appropriate levels of fertilizer

Rotational cropping

Riparian buffer improvement through planting of native species on river bank including raspberries and chestnut trees

Planting cover crops every fall after crop harvest

sustainability award

Freund’s Farm, Inc. received the 2015 Sustainability Award in Resource Stewardship from the U.S. Innovation Center for Dairy for their multi-faceted approach to protecting the waterways, creatively managing the manure produced on their farm, improving the soil and land on which they farm and working cooperatively with their neighboring farms. Read more about the award and the other sustainable dairy farms.

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