Melissa Feeders in Melissa, Texas has developed a turf grass farming program using the waste water from the feedlot and manure. MF has a joint venture with a composting company and sells manure to them while also providing land for the compost. This relationship allows the "waste" from the operations to be converted into profitable products, such as Zoysia turf grass for golf courses and soil enhancements.
Currently, 17 acres of grass are harvested each year, using nutrient heavy water from the Melissa operation to rapidly restore growth in harvested areas. By applying this water to the turf grass and then exporting the turf offsite, much smaller amounts of land are necessary to properly distribute the nutrient load from the cattle.
Also at the Melissa location, 10,000 tons of manure is sold annually to Hope Agri-Products for sale into the home improvement market, with most sales going to Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe's. These initiatives have allowed Melissa Feeders to build its cattle feeding business while also continuing practices that reduce waste and prevent negative environmental impact.
Melissa Feeders' innovative turf grass operation has served as a model for other cattle feeding operations in the industry and has a strong working relationship with Texas A&M University Cooperative Research and Extension to help spread these practices. The company has hosted a field day for producers in the state of Texas as an example on good environmental stewardship and innovative research and application for waste management.