Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.39
Liaison Brad Spanbauer
Submission Date July 9, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Brian Kermath
Sustainability Director
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Getting it Right: organic waste stream management for rural communities and small farms

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

With a $136,700 USDA Rural Development grant, UWO is extending the impact of the Titan-55, a small-farm biodigester, in Allenville, WI. Through funding provided by the grant, UWO is presenting four workshops throughout the State of Wisconsin to give farmers and residents of rural communities the opportunity to learn about the option of converting farm manure into heat and electricity.
Capturing the biogas available in manure and turning it into electricity has become common at larger dairy farms, reducing phosphate contamination from farm run-off and creating higher quality compost/fertilizer. The process also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. The industry has shown wet biodigesters have economic viability on these larger farms (over 350 head) and have also allowed rural communities to increase the number of jobs while reducing stress on the environment. While these large digesters are important, small farms are the mainstay in rural communities.
The lasting effects of this project will be to improve management of solid waste in environmentally sound ways creating additional jobs, sustainable operations and a reduction in unprocessed waste on the surrounding land in rural dairy farms.
This program is innovative because it provides proof-of-concept for the applicability of this technology while also allowing UWO to conduct outreach programs to rural communities around the state demonstrating the effectiveness of GHG-reducing technology.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

The ultimate impact of this program will be the number of family farms that install biodigesters to reduce waste run-off and capture the latent energy in their herd's manure. More immediately, the impact can be measured by the number of individuals attending workshops. To date 8 individuals have attended these seminars; 27 have pre-registered for future seminars.
Website with description of informational meetings and registration information: <http://www.uwosh.edu/eric/events-1/getting-it-right-organic-waste-stream-management-for-rural-communities-small-farms>

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum ---
Research Yes
Campus Engagement ---
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings ---
Dining Services ---
Energy Yes
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste Yes
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.