Stephanie at Lochmead Dairy
Four Generations of Green

A multi-generational, family-owned dairy farm, shows that from local distribution of its products to turning methane into power at their new biodigester that they continue being an innovative leader in sustainability for 50 years.

Jock and Buzz Gibson are the managers of Lochmead Farm, a fourth-generation family-owned dairy farm in central Oregon. For the past 50 years, the dairy has demonstrated wisdom in thinking local and reducing their carbon footprint in a traditionally greenhouse gas emission-heavy industry. 

Leading by Example. The depth of their commitment, further developed by Jock’s daughter Stephanie and her cousins, is shown by the long list of forward-thinking business decisions they have made to reduce their impact.  These include: 

  • Installing solar panels on the processing plant and several DariMart locations;
  • Locating their bottling and ice cream plants close to the dairy to reduce travel distance and therefore travel costs and emissions;
  • Harvesting 80% of the feed for their 600 cows on the farm;
  • Growing peppermint and hazelnuts on site to flavor the ice cream; and
  • Selling 25% of their milk in reusable glass bottles.

Thinking Local. To protect their investment and values, the Gibson’s opened up five original retail locations, now a chain of 44 DariMart stores, to market their milk, ice cream and other products. When considering the dairy, stores and other operations, the farm has created over 500 local jobs, a significant economic impact in the area.

The Greenhouse Gas Math. Most recently, the farm has also partnered with Revolution Energy Solutions to install and run an anaerobic digester at the dairy, a $2.2 million project that began operations in November 2011. The digester uses the methane released from dairy manure to run a turbine that creates electricity. The project pencils out by selling the electricity and through carbon funding -- a voluntary carbon offset surcharge paid by customers of Northwest Natural, the gas utility. The facility is estimated to reduce green house gas emissions equivalent to removing 700 cars from the road for a year. The low temperature digester, the first of it’s kind at a dairy facility, has paved the way for a clean energy revolution in the industry.

Key Players:

Lochmead Farms

  • Stephanie Gibson-Hawkes, General Manager
  • Jock Gibson, President and Managing Partner of the Dairy and DariMart Stores
  • Buzz Gibson, Dairy Operations Manager

Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable energy. 

Revolution Energy Solutions

RES is focused on the production of renewable energy through projects that operate proven energy technologies utilizing a farm or agricultural platform throughout the U.S..


Author Bio

Bobby is former Solutions Stories and Media Manager with Climate Solutions. In that role, he worked to identify and engage new audiences for our programs and campaigns throughout the Northwest, with a focus on the Solutions Stories.

Bobby spent six years as the National Representative at the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition (SOS), mobilizing support to restore the Columbia-Snake River Basin, a watershed home to some of the world’s best habitat for wild salmon and steelhead in a changing climate.

After receiving his degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon in 2003, he advocated on behalf of working people and the environment. In addition to SOS, Bobby has worked for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU Local 503) and America Coming Together, and volunteered for the Trout Unlimited, Elders in Action, and UNITE HERE.

Bobby hails from central Pennsylvania and has lived in Oregon since 1998. When he's not working, Bobby can be found with his partner Jenny and their cat Jove, playing music with friends, out and about on his bike, or working in the garden.

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