Introducing the 2016 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards Winners

May 12, 2016

For the dairy community, sustainability means much more than being green. This year’s group of winners is one of the most diverse and exciting yet. Take a look at some real-life examples of projects and partnerships that are good for the community, good for the planet and good for business.

(Winners not in any particular order.)

Agri-Mark and Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Winner, Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability


Progressive Farm Turns Grocery Store Food Waste into Energy to Make More Food

When a grocery store, a dairy farm and a creamery team up to reduce food waste, Real Farm Power happens! Learn how that food waste gets turned into renewable energy to power Cabot’s butter-making equipment and keep food waste out of local landfills. Learn more.

Bateman’s Mosida Farms, Winner, Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability


Utah’s Largest Dairy Farm Focuses on Sustainability

With a history of dairy farming that predates Utah’s statehood, the Bateman family has grown their farm from a handful of cows to what is now the largest dairy in the state. What’s their secret? It’s all about the cows. Learn more.

Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Honorable Mention, Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships


Milk Vital for Food Banks

When Makayla first came to the Northern Dauphin Food Pantry in Elizabethville, Pa., she was 4 years old and homeless. With her bright red hair and easy smile, she quickly won the hearts of the food pantry’s staff. Mikayla is just one of the many beneficiaries of the pantry’s Fill a Glass with Hope fresh milk program, and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s bold new approach for providing its 900 partner agencies with a sustainable supply of fresh milk. Learn more.

Homestead Dairy, Honorable Mention, Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability


Dairy Farm Finds a Formula for Sustainable Growth

Growing as a farm and bringing on four next-generation families is what encourages a spirit of continuous improvement at Homestead Dairy in Indiana. Their sustainable business plan ranges from resource conservation to participation in the Gold Standard Program for animal care and new group housing for the calves on the farm.

Jer-Lindy Farms, Winner, Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability


Redhead Creamery Adds Vital Link for Farm’s Next Generation

After Jerry and Linda Jennissen’s youngest daughter Alise spent her college years studying both marketing and cheesemaking, the family had the confidence to expand their 176-cow operation by adding a creamery. Sustainability practices are integrated into almost every aspect as the creamery churns out everything from nutty hard Cheddars to soft cheeses with a kick of spice. Learn more.

Noblehurst Farms, Winner, Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships


Cooperative Effort Diverts Food Waste

What happens when you mix food scraps with manure? You create renewable energy and keep tons of food waste from entering local landfills. That’s what self-described “older millennial” Chris Noble accomplished when he partnered with Wegmans grocery stores to put their food waste to good use. Learn more.

Siemers Holsteins, Winner, Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability


Farm Uses Data-Driven Approach to Protect the Soil

Dan Siemers describes his family as both “cow people” and “land people” – with responsibility for taking care of their soil as well as they do their cows. They accomplish both by focusing on long-term solutions and data-driven approaches, such as an intensive soil testing process that doubles the number of soil samples typically taken. With this information, he provides his crops with only the fertilizer they need and no more. That helps the crops thrive and keeps excess fertilizer out of the local waterways. 

Yahara Pride Farms, Winner, Outstanding Achievement in Resource Stewardship


Self-Organized Conservation Group Protects Freshwater Resources

Through years of active and productive participation with environmental and community partners, the Yahara Pride Farms conservation board focuses on soil conservation and effective manure management in order to improve land and waterways in Dane County, Wisc. Its innovative cost-sharing program gives farmers the opportunity to test new technologies with minimum risk. 

Foremost Farms & Schreiber Foods, Honorable Mention, Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability


Dairy Companies Partner to Turn Wastewater into Energy

Foremost Farms and Schreiber Foods produce dairy products at separate plants in Richland Center, Wisc. In a unique partnership, the two companies joined forces to construct Richland Center Renewable Energy (RCRE), a state-of-the-art water treatment facility that generates renewable energy from their dairy plants’ wastewater. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions from waste-hauling and takes stress off the local municipal treatment plant. 


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