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How might we make grass-fed beef farming more sustainable and less wasteful?

Through a new circular model for egg production.

RESEARCH, BRAND INNOVATION, STRATEGY, VISUAL DESIGN & BRAND IDENTITY, SERVICE DESIGN, PRODUCT DESIGN

PROJECT OVERVIEW

CHKN co-op is a brand and circular model for raising chickens with cattle on pasture land. This was an independent project completed in my 3rd semester of grad school that was inspired by my love of raising chickens, sustainable farming practices, and creating a cleaner planet.

MY ROLE

I conducted qualitative/quantitative research and interviews, designed and modeled a suite of innovative products, designed and tested the UX/UI experience, while creating a powerful brand and narrative that brings CHKN to life—showcasing how the brand would exist in the world.

 
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INTRODUCTION

Life on a farm was a fun and educational experience for a young boy with an innate fascination with animals and getting his hands dirty.

Since shoveling chicken and horse manure on my family’s farm, I’ve always known animal waste was a smelly, yet powerful substance. There’s a reason my grandparents called it “Black Gold”. However, in order to get all of the benefits one must be intentional about using it.

PROBLEM

In America, food animals produce 2 billion tons of waste in the form of manure each year.

Interestingly enough, only 335 million dry tons of waste come from animals at large-scale feeding operations; meaning a lot of this waste exists on smaller farms around the country—like my family's farm. Yet, it is seen as a useless waste product. Through further research, I found cattle produce significantly larger amounts of waste volume per weight than any other farmed animal.

REALIZATION

I thought if we can fix the waste problem on these small farms; we can in turn fix the problem on a larger scale.

When I realized cattle farming was a huge part of the waste problem, I began thinking about alternative ways to farm and what my grandparents taught me about the magic of manure. The very reason for the problem actually held the key to the solution. We just need to reimagine how farmers use land and reposition waste as a valuable asset—rather than a useless byproduct.

Image by Stijn te Strake

90% of all cattle farms
in the US are small-scale.

(USDA, 2014)

 

OPPORTUNITY

We have the potential to create a network of agricultural ecosystems that not only repurposes waste but also increases land efficiency and income for small-scale farmers.