Sustainability leadership isn't about winning awards. Then again, sometimes it is.
Follow our recent awards right to our farms, where passion and innovation are put into practice. We're proud of our awards, but we're more proud of our people and their commitment to a bright future for dairy and our communities.
NDA & DARIGOLD WIN COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD FOR SUSTAINABILITY
The Northwest Dairy Association (NDA) and Darigold were 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.
The Gold Award highlights our approach to continuously improving environmental stewardship and community involvement.
As a result of our leadership on sustainability issues, NDA farmers have won five U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards over the past six years, while Darigold as a processor was recognized with a 2012 award for systematic commitment to best practices in transforming dairy processing. Learn more about award winners and the specific ways we put sustainability into action from farm-to-fridge.
Northwest Dairy Association farmer Austin Allred and his family received the Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability award in 2018 for putting millions of worms to work processing dairy manure. Learn how worms help this young farmer reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reuse water on this Royal City, Wash. farm.
NDA member Rickreall Dairy is so passionate about being a great neighbor to the Rickreall, Oregon community that they won an award for it. Learn more about how the Kazemier family’s philosophy benefits the environment, local community, and employees.
Steve Vander Haak of Lynden, Wash. was the first Washington dairy farmer to add an anaerobic manure digester to his dairy farm. This new way to manage manure – successfully turning it and other local food waste into renewable energy to power 400 local homes and fertilizers that improve crop land has shown the community that dairies are part of the sustainability solution, not a problem.
Vander Haak installed the digester and agreed to share his results with others with hope that it would catalyze more renewable energy projects across the country. Through partnerships with Washington State University Extension and others, his successful model has been adopted by at least 11 other farms, generating 15,420 kilowatt hours of electricity while preventing 400,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year, and keeping 18 million pounds of food waste out of landfills each year.
In 2003, Sunnyside dairy farmer Dan DeGroot invested in major changes to his farm to keep his cows more comfortable. Those changes also resulted in energy efficiency. DeGroot was surprised he won an award for it. After all, he was just trying to make each day better for his cows. Learn more about how this farmer’s bold modernization pays off for his cows and the environment.
The Werkhoven’s Monroe, Wash. dairy farm is just 35 miles from downtown Seattle. The expanding Puget Sound area population makes rising property values and closer proximity to residential neighbors potential problems for dairy farmers. Jim and Andy Werkhoven are rising to these challenges by creating exciting new partnerships with local and tribal governments, and investment in a methane energy generator that can power 300 homes and creates beneficial liquid fertilizer for local farmland.
The Werkhovens are ones to watch as they plan to add another generator to benefit more neighbors and help other local farms thrive because, “cows are better than condos.”
The only way to live up to the high stewardship standards set by our farmer-owners is to carry on their good work while we get their milk to market. Darigold’s triple bottom line focus on community, economic, and environmental harmony is the key to our success. We were honored to receive the Dairy Export Council’s Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability award for this systematic approach to measuring and improving our performance.
From lowering our carbon emissions, innovating new products, and matching employee charitable giving, we are focused on all three sustainability pillars and increasing our positive impact year by year.