Power to Save: Farmers Bed Stalls With Newspaper

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WOODWARD TOWNSHIP -- Find yourself in a barn filled with cows and you may understand why it's so hard for a dairy farmer to take a vacation.

"It goes in one end and out the other," said Carpenter.

With 40 or so cows at the Carpenter family's barn near Linden, dairy farmer T.J. Allen is always replacing the cows' bedding.

"We put the papers in there and there are knives in there that grind it up," said T.J. Allen.

Allen doesn't use sawdust he uses newspapers donated by his neighbors.

"This helps keep them clean and dry and absorbs the moisture and some of the odor too,” said Carpenter.

Several farms in Lycoming County already use newspaper, one because it's free but also because when they are done with it here they can put it in their fields.

"We scrape it in the gutter and we run it out in the manure spreader and we take it and spread it," said Allen.

"It gives you a good feeling to know to know that you are recycling something that won't end up in the landfill,"

The newspaper is biodegradable.  What's spread in the fields will eventually decompose. This farm uses about two tons of newspaper a week.

"I chop twice a day. I use eight bags a day. I chop four in the morning and then after I'm done milking at night I do four more," said Allen.

"It is a lot of labor," said Carpenter.

Perhaps a labor of love for the carpenter family. After all, what's good for the environment may also be good for the farm.