There’s strength in numbers, and many in the dairy industry are counting on that. In that vein, the new Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance has been formed, hoping to ensure that all points in the production of dairy foods are continuously improving, whether it be animal care, environmental conservation, food safety, or another key element.
It’s an inclusive group bringing together farmers, processors, packagers, conservation groups, vendors, transporters, retailers, and others to help position the Midwest as a global leader in dairy sustainability. Even though some of these groups compete with one another, the alliance hopes to create a sense of common good and improvement.
“To make a significant difference at the scale of the state, or ultimately the region, we need the active leadership of the dairy supply chain and dairy farmers. Farmers can drive the biggest impacts and take beneficial practices to scale the fastest way,” says Steve Richter, director of conservation programs in Wisconsin for The Nature Conservancy. “We are excited to find common ground with the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance doing on-the-ground projects that benefit our lands, waters and the dairy community.”
Among the topics targeted are land and energy use, nutrient management, water quality, animal welfare, and food safety.
The alliance is seeking other collaborators to improve the program. Farmers, individually or as part of a watershed, are being recruited to participate in a 2017 pilot program. To learn more about the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance, go to dairystrong.org/sustainability.