Recycling comes in many forms, and for Reno county farmers Orville and Mary Jane Miller of Miller Dairy Farm, it means feeding their cows the leftover food scraps that come their way, including chocolate from a friend’s factory.

Feeding their cows 600 to 800 pounds of chocolate scraps a day saves the farmers $.50 to $.60 per cow. “That’s a lot of savings,” Orville said.

But is it good for the cows? According to farm nutritionist Verton Miller, yes, it is. “Oh yea … chocolate is high in energy. It’s good for the cows. They need two things, and that’s energy and protein.” The Millers also implement a daily limit of 6 lbs. of chocolate per cow, so they’re not just eating dessert.

And the Millers don’t stop with chocolate. They also feed their herd leftover Mexican food from another nearby factory. “It’s corn meal, soft tacos, cheese, refried beans … you name it. It’s a combination of some high fat, high energy.”

Orville notes that there is “a science to feeding cows” — he’s not just dumping garbage in those troughs. But he also realizes it’s a financial win-win. The farmers can recycle food scraps while saving plenty of money for themselves. This reuse of scraps is also helping the Millers deal with current drought conditions across the U.S. and the lack of crops available for livestock feed.

Main photo credit: Geograph