Our sons, Jack and Garrett, walk the freestall barn with their Dad
We dairy farmers are the original environmentalists. Every day is Earth Day on a dairy farm. We’ve been responsible stewards of the land for generations and I’m glad to see some recent scientific studies proving that fact.
A 2010 report by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Dairy Sector” estimates global milk production, processing and transportation contributes just 2.7% of green house gas (GHG) emissions. The report focuses on the entire dairy food chain from feed production and on-farm emissions, to emissions associated with milk processing, packaging and transportation of dairy products to retailers.
A 2009 study by Cornell University found over the past 60 years, U.S. dairy has reduced the carbon footprint of its products by 63 percent, thanks to improvements in animal genetics, feeding rations, animal health programs, cow comfort and overall farm management practices. In fact, more milk is produced today with only 9 million cows than with 26 million cows in 1944.
In an effort to continue our earth-friendly values, U.S. dairy has set an industry-wide goal of achieving a 25% reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
So celebrate Earth Day, every day, by enjoying milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream and think about dairy families each time you buy dairy products.