Sustainability Awards

We're not bragging, but we do appreciate recognition of our tireless efforts to build a better and brighter future not only for dairy, but also for the communities in which we work and live.


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.

NDA farmers have won five U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards as a result of our leadership in sustainability. Meanwhile, in 2012, Darigold as a processor was recognized with an 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.

Sustainability Awards Logo

2018: Royal Dairy

Stewardship & Sustainable Farms 2

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.

Royal Dairy Sustainability Award

You can follow their daily dairy sustainability journey on Facebook and Instagram: @royaldairy

2017: Rickreall Dairy

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.

Rickreall Dairy Sustainability Award

2014: Vander Haak Dairy

Steve Vander Haak of Lynden 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 demonstrated that dairies are part of the sustainability solution, not a problem.

Vander Haak installed the digester and agreed to share his results with others in order to 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. They have also kept 18 million pounds of food waste out of landfills each year.

Learn more about Vander Haak in this NDA Farm Fridays video.

2013: Skyridge Farms

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.

Skyridge Dairy Sustainability Award

2012: Werkhoven Dairy

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 have risen to these challenges by creating exciting new partnerships with local and tribal governments and investing in a methane energy generator that can power 300 homes, while creating beneficial liquid fertilizer for local farmland.

Werkhoven Dairy Sustainability Award

2012: Darigold

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 comprises 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 honor all three sustainability pillars to increase our positive impact year after year.

Darigold Sustainability Award