Being Responsible Stewards: Dairy’s Story

March 02, 2017

Technology has transformed our world, and we tend to embrace that in our day-to-day lives… however, some may not feel the same way when it comes to food. But where would we be without the innovation we can sometimes fear?

This year the dairy community is at SXSW to explore the complex relationship between food, technology and trust. How can companies and brands use technology to make our food more sustainable while maintaining peoples’ trust?

If you’re among a growing number of people who want to know more about where their food comes from and how it’s made, we can help.

Here at Dairy Good we love to share our stories and answer common questions especially when it comes to how dairy farmers help produce sustainable food and offer their cows the care and comfort they need and deserve.

For decades, dairy farmers have worked to find ways to be better stewards of the land. In fact, since 1944, they’ve managed to decrease the amount of land and water it takes to produce a gallon of milk – resulting in a 63 percent smaller carbon footprint.

Additionally, research shows that a dairy’s size or location has less impact on the Earth than the practices they use:   

  • Some dairy farmers use their cows’ manure as a natural fertilizer, which helps them cut back on commercial fertilizers.
  • Other dairy farmers may put their cows’ manure into anaerobic digester systems to recycle it into clean, renewable electricity. In fact, your local dairy farmer may be powering their farm and parts of your community right now!
  • Farmers often recycle water as many as three to five times. For example, water used to clean barns can also irrigate crops that feed cows.

And while you may not realize it, you can find a good deal of tech on a farm, including:

  • Sophisticated collars (like a Fitbit), bracelets or ear tags cows wear that monitor key behaviors like activity, body temperature and how much milk they give. Farmers can use this information to make sure each cow receives the care it needs.
  • “Self-driving” tractors are becoming increasingly popular; more than 50 percent of farms use auto-steer technology today and that’s expected to increase to 64 percent by 2018.
  • Smartphones help dairy farmers stay connected like anyone else – plus, dairy-specific apps help them keep tabs on different parts of the farm.

A sustainable, healthy farm and a healthy planet can go hand in hand. We’re constantly looking to improve how we produce milk, and farmers are committed to investing in innovative, sustainable and social efforts that make a difference for everyone – helping farmers operate more efficiently, while still providing nutritious, high-quality, affordable products for generations to come.


If you're at SXSW, come to our panel "We Love Technology... Why Not When It Comes to Food?" on Monday, March 13, at 2 p.m. in the ballroom at The Driskill, 604 Brazos St. -- and follow us here and at @DairyGood for more updates about our panel and our time at SXSW!



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