Photo credit: Saskia Potter Photography

NDA & Darigold Win Community Impact Award for Sustainability

The Northwest Dairy Association (NDA) and Darigold have been honored with a 2018 Community Impact Award from Seattle Business magazine. The recognition is for sustainable practices both on co-op member farms and across Darigold operations.

A perfect way to start the next century as a co-op, the Gold Award highlights NDA members’ and Darigold’s approach to continuously improving environmental stewardship and community involvement. About 110 organizations applied for the magazine’s awards, and the co-op is among the 16 selected for 2018 awards. Of the award categories, NDA and Darigold won the Gold Award in the Sustainability category (first place).

In 2005, Darigold initiated a corporate social responsibility program to improve stewardship of member farms’ cows and land, as well as reduce environmental impacts in its operations. Darigold has made progress since the inception of this initiative. As a dairy co-op, Darigold supports its member owners while each farm operates independently, which enables them to adopt and implement the systems and equipment that work best for their farms. With the unique co-op model, Darigold and its member owners implement programs that enable the co-op to operate sustainably.

NDA farmers often refer to themselves as the original recyclers because the care and stewardship of their land and animals is directly tied to the success of their farms. In addition to five NDA farmers winning the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award over the past six years, Darigold as a processor won the award in 2012 for systematic commitment to best practices in transforming dairy processing.

“Darigold and NDA are committed to environmental stewardship, community involvement and economic prosperity for co-op member owners like myself and my family,” said Darigold Board Chairman Leroy Plagerman in accepting the award. “Giving back to communities where we live and work is our heritage, and it will be our future.”


Recognition of NDA farms

NDA member-owners continue to be nationally recognized for their farm practice initiatives and success. In the last seven years, five NDA farmers have won the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s Sustainability Award, a program that highlights industry efforts that deliver outstanding benefits to business, community and the environment. These award recipients have adopted unique, innovative sustainability programs, including water conservation and recycling, reducing electricity usage, forming local partnerships to maximize resources, and even using worms to filter wastewater and reduce greenhouse gases.

A recipient of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award in 2017 was Rickreall Dairy, an Oregon farm and NDA member committed to operating sustainably and being a good neighbor. They were also honored for employee retention and animal care. In 2018, Austin Allred, NDA member and owner of Royal Dairy in Washington, was recognized with the same Sustainability Award for his use of an innovative wastewater treatment system. For more information about these two farms and three other past NDA winners, see the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy here.

Rickreall Dairy was selected for innovative partnerships with neighboring businesses, energy and water conservation, employee retention, good animal care, and contributions to local and global communities.

Dairy Farmers of Washington (DFW) announced that Washington dairy farmer, Austin Allred, was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.