Environmental Leadership

Northwest Dairy Association farms epitomize environmental leadership. The traditional desire to preserve farms for the next generation involves combining science and best practices to constantly ensure the most efficient and safe management of natural resources.

“Sustainability is not a buzzword on a dairy farm. It’s not a new thing.” – Nate Kazemier, 3rd Generation Dairy Farmer

Dairy Stewardship Commitment

Darigold and the Northwest Dairy Association are founding members and signatories of the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment  affirming to our customers, our consumers and the global marketplace Darigold’s pledge to responsible dairy production as we nourish the communities we serve. This commitment is aligned with U.N. sustainability goals and global sustainability initiatives.

            Green and white logo for US Dairy Stewardship Commitment

National F.A.R.M. Program

NDA is setting a path towards continuous improvement by incorporating the Environmental Stewardship (ES) module of the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program to help members assess their farms’ carbon & energy footprint.

Environmental Leadership 5

Reductions in Dairy's Environmental Impact

Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. U.S. dairy farmers have taken huge strides to reduce their overall environmental impact. The adoption of modern innovations and cutting-edge farm practices, has resulted in the following;

  • A 90% reduction since the 1940’s in cropland required to feed herds;
  • A 76% reduction of manure per gallon of milk produced by each cow and a 63% reduction in carbon emissions than in 1944;

  • A 65% reduction in water use per gallon of milk, thanks to innovative reuse and conservation strategies.

Farm Level Leadership

NDA farmers have received widespread recognition for their environmental leadership, winning five of the last eight U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards for leading edge innovations. Here are a few examples of other best practices implemented across NDA farms:

  • Each NDA member farm in Washington, Oregon and Idaho has a Nutrient Management Plan.
  • Farms are designed to conserve and reuse water multiple times.
  • Manure is composted and dried to be used as a natural fertilizer and soil amendment.