Milk

Facilitator: Abigail “what the hey”Hays
EnviroNews: Alex “Wolfeyes” Yang
Icebreaker: Erica “c. k.” Largen

Welcome back everyone! We’ll be discussing the Stadium Woods Management Plan and the presence of classrooms in the woods before breaking into project groups this week.

Also, a short message on VT milk:

“On January 22nd, for the first time in memory, milk produced on the Virginia Tech (VT) campus was made available for consumption on-campus at the Dietrick D2 Food Court. It was made possible via a processing arrangement with the Department of Corrections (DOC) Grade-A processing facility just west of Richmond. News articles like this one in the Roanoke Times, this one in the Virginia Tech News and even this one of many from the Associated Press hailed the project as a substantive, positive step towards sustainable practices and local procurement. Furthermore, these articles report that the 1,800 gallons per day produced at the VT Dairy Center, is combined with production from the DOC herd and as much as 140 gallons a week is making it’s way back to the D2 Food Court in 5 gal. bulk dispensers.

We must certainly applaud the Department of Corrections, it’s agribusinesses across the state and the opportunities they provide for inmates, but to report this project as “sustainable” or “local” is misleading at best and flat-out, politically-correct fabrications at worst.  To support my position, let us consider what I understand to be the cycle from production to consumption as follows:
· Every other day, an empty, full size, dedicated milk tanker leaves State Farm, Virginia and travels 197 miles to the VT Dairy Center in Blacksburg.  In Blacksburg, it loads 2 days production (currently about 30,000 lb., about 3/5th of a load) then travels the 197 miles back to State Farm. Is this “sustainable” and “local”?  If so, compared to what?

· At State Farm, the VT milk is added to milk from the 140 DOC cows, processed, pasteurized, packaged and loaded onto (what I assume to be) a refrigerated van. The van then travels 228 to the Bland Correctional Center in Bland, VA. Again, is this “sustainable” and “local”?  If so, compared to what?

· From Bland, product is distributed to all institutions in the area including the 35 miles to deliver 140 gallons per week (about 1,200 lb. or about 1.1% of the weekly production of the VT Dairy Center) to  Dietrick Hall in Blacksburg”

-Chuck Angier

See you Tuesday!

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