How a 'One Cow' Philosophy Changed the Dairy Community

The story behind Maddox Dairy started back in 1957 with one man and one calf.

Dairy farmer Doug Maddox adopted a simple philosophy: Treat every cow as if it were his only cow. And while today the dairy looks quite different than it did 50 years ago, three generations have embraced Doug’s philosophy on the dairy that’s now home to more than 3,000 cows.

The Maddox family has been a trail-blazer in the dairy industry, and they’ve shared their experiences with other farmers so that they can find similar success. Some of their discoveries and innovations in better animal care practices have resulted in more environmentally and financially sound business operations across the industry.

For example, the Maddox family pioneered a practice called “total mixed rations,” which ensures that every cow is provided with the nutrients it needs in each bite of feed leading to better cow health. This practice, commonly known as TMR, is now embraced throughout the industry. More recently, the farm installed a massive solar field and is implementing a more efficient irrigation system, resulting in a lower environmental impact overall.

To recognize the Maddox family’s accomplishments, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy presented Maddox Dairy with its 2014 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability award, one of the six U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards presented to dairy farms and companies around the country.

Together, World Wildlife Fund and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy are working to address these sustainability challenges and help feed a growing global population while maintaining a living planet. Since 2009, WWF and the Innovation Center have worked to advance mutual conservation goals and improve the environmental sustainability of the dairy industry. We are working together with the nation’s dairy farmers to develop, adopt and share new, science-based practices, leading to a more sustainable dairy industry.