Today, Geosphere students traveled once more to Winchester, this time to learn about Valley Proteins. Students sat around a large conference table and learned about the rendering process and how it is beneficial to the environment. "My favorite part of today was hearing about how the process of extracting valuable materials for use out of leftover animal parts," Cameron remarks. The President of the company passed around jars of the fats and proteins as he discussed what exactly rendering is and the uses of the final product, including fertilizer and pet food. At the conclusion of his discussion, he gave the students colorful books detailing the history of the company before Geosphere students loaded the bus for a tour of the facility.


The first location on the Valley Protein tour was to the rendering facility. Here, the guide painted an image of the production lines as he described the events that occur in the factory. He also discussed safety regulations as well as the power supply that the company runs on. "I learned that they use their own fuel sometimes," Grace comments The company stores some of the animal fat they separated from the protein in order to act as a supplementary source of power to the plant.


The final stop on the Valley Protein tour was a stop near Valley Protein's own wastewater treatment area. Here, anearobic and aerobic bacteria are used to clean the excess water of the plant. That water (rich in Nitrates) is then repurposed to water local crops. While the pond and other facilities were a little smelly, it didn't stop the students from learning about the cost of comfort, especially Michael."Valley Protein products are cheap, and they use byproducts of animals so landfills won't be crowded and pollute the air," he states. This 25% reduction in landfill trash results prolongs the life of the landfill, ultimately preserving another potential landfill spot for a bit longer.