Dairy & Frozen
Dairy’s Sustainability Commitment - Delivering Goodness from the Ground Up
Dairy farmers’ commitment to fostering a healthy planet is just as strong as their commitment to producing nutrient-rich milk for you and your family to enjoy for a healthy lifestyle. In fact, dairy foods are important contributors of many nutrients in the diet that are vital to good health. Few other foods deliver these nutrients in such an affordable, appealing and accessible way.
For dairy farmers, a cow’s comfort and health is very important to their overall sustainability efforts because healthy and well-treated animals produce high-quality, wholesome dairy foods. When it comes to animal care, nutritious diets, healthy living conditions and good veterinary care are practices routinely used by all farmers to keep their herds healthy. In addition, dairy farmers and the dairy community have created FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management), a nationwide, verifiable animal well-being program that brings consistency and uniformity to on-farm animal care practices.
On the farm, dairy farmers are conservationists and use a variety of recycling practices so that they use as little water and energy as possible in the daily management of their farms. Many dairy farmers also spread natural manure into the soil to replenish the soil so crops grow better, reducing the amount of commercial fertilizers needed.
Dairy farmers rely on scientific advancements and on-farm sensibilities to look for new ways to be sustainable. Examples of sustainable farming practices include:
- Crop rotation to mitigate weeds and improve soil quality,
- The introduction of beneficial insects to control harmful pests,
- No-tillage or reduced tillage crop farming for soil and fuel conservation, and
- The use of new products with enhanced environmental benefits.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the world population is estimated to exceed 9 billion by 2050. To meet this growing need, farmers are working hard to reduce their impact on the environment, using less land and resources to produce more food and milk. Compared to farms in 1960, USDA statistics show that U.S. dairy farms today are producing almost three times more milk with about half the number of cows.
But the work is not done. The dairy industry continues to take steps to become even more sustainable. While dairy farmers have already made great strides in reducing the carbon footprint on their farms, the industry is working together to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 – the equivalent to taking 1.25 million passenger cars off the road each year. Learn more about dairy farmer’s commitment to sustainability.
Meet Midwest dairy farm families, and find more nutrition facts and dairy recipes at DairyMakesSense.com.
Content brought to you by Midwest Dairy Association.
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