Utah dairy wins national sustainability award

Utah's largest dairy, Bateman's Mosida Farms, is one of nine winners of a 2016 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award.

The farm in Elberta, near Utah Lake, received the Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability award and is the first Utah recipient of the national honor.

Given by The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the awards recognize dairy farms, businesses and partnerships whose sustainable practices have a positive impact on the health of consumers, communities, animals and the environment.

With 7,000 milking cows, Mosida Farms also is one of the oldest dairy farms in the state, as it predates Utah statehood. It is owned and operated by Wayne Bateman and his four sons.

Judges recognized the family's efforts to improve operations, such as a new maternity barn that has improved the health of calves and mothers; manure management and sand reclamation systems allowing the dairy to capture beneficial nutrients for fertilizer; water conservation methods; and reduced use of fossil fuels.

The farm is working on a solar energy project that will offset 90 percent of the power used to run the operation and return energy to the grid. The farm also gives tours to let the public better understand the milk-processing business.