CLEVELAND — A Northeast Ohio-based company is working on a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by changing the way farmers feed cattle.
While the cattle feast during lunchtime, Keith Heidecorn, the managing director of the fermentation company Locus Animal Nutrition, looks on.
“I love being around cows and animals and such. I spent a lot of time on a farm working on them with sheep and turkeys, chickens," Heidecorn said.
He opens the barn and unloads the feed from his truck, stacking it up inside, explaining that cattle and their bodily functions are a concern for the environment.
“So, essentially, when the cows eat, they burp and sometimes fart, and that releases methane to the atmosphere. So what that methane also does, besides contribute to climate change, it also is a loss of energy for the cow," Keidecorn said.
But Heidecorn is passionate about finding a solution that’s good for the environment and the animals.
“I got interested from the environmental standpoint because I saw (agriculture) was getting a bad rap, and it could be used as an opportunity to do good because growers are natural stewards of the land," Heidecorn said.
In a Locus video, Heidecorn explains how the company has a solution.
Locus Animal Nutrition is developing probiotic feed additives to put in the cattle’s food to improve digestion, reduce methane, and even help farmers in ways such as increased milk production.
“We’re not just reducing methane; we’re also going to help increase the productivity. Because, as much as we’d love to have a product that just decreases methane, growers still need to make money. They still need to run their business and be profitable.”
As Heidecorn unloads more feed, he hopes to continue the studies on the additives to improve the lives of farmers and the planet.
“And so, I’ve just been inspired by the sustainability side of things, as well as the engineering side of things, so I really wanted to find solutions to help growers be more profitable, as well as do something good for the climate.”