A farm that has no carbon footprint

Hutterite egg farmers from the southern region of Alberta, Canada are planning on producing roughly 13,000 eggs a day while having zero net greenhouse gas emissions. The barn houses 13,000 brown birds which produce one egg per day. The Brant Hutterite Colony has a population of 105 people. This will be the first net-zero egg barn in Canada. The structure is designed to produce the same amount of energy it uses.

The barn is installed with solar panels and some high-tech equipment to drastically reduce its carbon footprint. This project also marks the industry’s latest attempt to improve its sustainability.

The colony initially had doubts about the project but decided to push through with it for the sake of the industry. They received a $250,000 provincial government grant to compensate for their spending on some of the materials, including 100 solar panels. Data-gathering from all aspects of the farm is done daily to prove if the net-zero claims are actually being achieved.

“It looks very promising; I think we’ll be very close to net zero with solar. With the colder months coming we’ll have more data available to maybe prove that it was a good cause,” said Darrel Mandel, a member of the colony. Several tours were conducted for other egg farmers interested in doing the same project.

The Brant colony had an agreement with the Egg Farmers of Alberta that they will have to provide data to the organization as well as having their activities in the barn available for web livestream. This did not sit well with some members of the colony at first but they were later convinced to broadcast their barn activities. Mandel explained, “…we sat down and talked about it and said, ‘What do we have to hide?’ If you don’t treat those birds right, they are not going to perform. So there is no difference doing that the right way in front of yourself or in front of the public.”

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