At its outset, Monarch Bioenergy represented a new paradigm in the agricultural industry when Smithfield Foods and Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) began their joint venture in 2018. Hog waste could now be transformed into environmentally beneficial renewable natural gas (RNG). Monarch’s difference went beyond just typical RNG production. Monarch created a new model for how conservation, ecology, and economics could provide a sustainable and profitable way to produce clean energy at scale while reducing greenhouse gases.
Rudi Roeslein, the founder of RAE, has long championed the power of prairie grass to provide carbon sequestration, reduce agricultural runoff, and provide pollinator habitat to enhance biodiversity. Prairie is also a biogas feedstock, which we can convert and utilize via regular rotational prairie harvests. These harvests are necessary for the long-term health of prairie fields.
Following RAE’s lead, Monarch recognizes the environmental value of prairie grass and assists in the prairie’s re-establishment while also supporting the Environmental Defense Fund’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat Exchange. Monarch’s evolution took a significant leap when TPG Rise made an investment in 2022. Now Monarch is producing more carbon-negative RNG across more hog farms, planting more prairie grass, and supporting more wildlife habitats than ever before. And we’re just getting started.