With Earth Day tomorrow placing a spotlight on environmental stewardship, dairy cooperatives are a critical link in ensuring dairy-farmer leadership in meeting ambitious sustainability goals, said Lindsay Reames, executive vice president of sustainability and external relations for Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association.
“Sustainability does have a number of different meanings, and I think the most important thing that we can do as a dairy co-op is understand what it means on each of our individual farms,” said Reames in a Dairy Defined Podcast released today. “The way we approach sustainability with our member owners is by finding ways where we can add value to their operation and improve the environmental outcomes from their farm.
“So, any investments that we make through our partnerships and through our sustainability programs have to align with that farm’s business model to bring them real value back to their operation. And we found that a number of new technologies, best management practices not only improve the environmental outputs on that operation, but also improve the overall economic wellbeing of the farm, which is a really important component of sustainability.”