Dairy has been long-hailed as an outstanding, nutrient-packed, food that provides the basis for some of our favorite summer treats. This June, kick your feet up and start your summer with a celebratory ice cream cone for Dairy Month (or a cool glass of milk). Dairy is not only continuing to supply foods packed with calcium, potassium, and nine essential nutrients, it’s now more sustainable than ever! Dairy Farmers of America is heating up their efforts toward improved dairy sustainability by reducing emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
And that’s just cool!
Dairy production already contributes less than 2 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, but a 30 percent decrease in emissions is the equivalent of removing 3.4 million cars from the road in one year! With the continued adoption of sustainable farming practices, that number continues to shrink.
How, may you ask? It all comes down to the Nerdherds! That’s what DFA calls its team of scientists, engineers, nutritionists, and more working to discover, utilize, share, and implement new best practices.
Here are some of the major initiatives dairy is putting forth to continue improving its sustainability in the coming years and hitting its 2030 goal.
Soil Management Programs
Dairy farmers in America are utilizing soil management plans that maintain and improve soil health. They’re cleaning carbon dioxide in the air and trapping it in the ground. More carbon in the soil equals happier soil, better yields, and a sustainable, ethical resource in dairy.
Efficiency is the name of the game. We’re all suffering the consequences of elevated fuel prices, however, DFA is utilizing efficient transportation routes while looking to the future of low-carbon fleet options.
Daily Manufacturing and Renewable Resources
Dairy is utilizing more and more efficient manufacturing methods, wind turbines, solar panels, and more. Nerdherd scientists are even converting manure and food waste into energy, providing resources that go well beyond the farm.
Nerdherd nutritionists are decreasing cow gas by elevating herd health. Happy cows, decreased emissions, a healthier planet, and even happier farmers. Specific designs for housing ensure comfort for each, individual animal. Speaking of cool, farmers in Arizona drop the temperature during summer months by over 30 degrees with specially designed shade structures.
DFA has donated over 10.2 million servings of milk to those in need. Through the Farmers Feeding Families Fund, fighting hunger in 50 states with refrigerators and milk projects in nearly 600 communities.
National Dairy Month initially began as a promotional effort in 1937 to address production surplus. However, it is now a much anticipated and enjoyed summer tradition referred to simply as Dairy Month. This summer, enjoy your dairy, knowing that sustainability is the “word” term with the Nerdherd.