Good Work Deserves to be Rewarded

Do you know someone in the dairy community who is embracing sustainable practices?

Maybe someone is working to get more nutrient-rich foods like milk to food banks or other services to help people in need? Helping uneaten food stay away from landfills? Partnering with dairy farmers, retailers or others in the community to address food waste, food insecurity or nutrition and health?

If yes, let your community’s story be heard. You can nominate people in your region who are doing work that makes a difference for the 2017 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards. Nominations are open through March 3. People making contributions across the dairy value chain and those who foster dairy-related health and wellness are eligible for nomination.

There are four categories of awards. The nutrition, health and wellness work related to sustainable food systems would fall within the “Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships” category. This category recognizes collaborations (on and off the farm) that improve lives and communities by making positive impacts on health and wellness, hunger relief, workforce development and/or environmental stewardship. Successful nominees will demonstrate instances in which organizations collaborate with other stakeholders in their community to develop practical and effective solutions for shared challenges and goals.

Past winners and honorable mentions in the Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships category include:

  • Noblehurst Farms for collaborating with Wegmans grocery stores, which sparked others like York School district and the Rochester Institute of Technology to divert food that could not be eaten by people to the dairy farm’s digester. This allowed the food to be used to generate energy instead of going to landfills where it would contribute to greenhouse gases.
  • Central Pennsylvania Food Bank for its “Fill a Glass with Hope” effort to get fresh milk to families facing hunger. This program led to a statewide adoption of the concept to ensure nutrient-rich milk gets to those in need throughout Pennsylvania.
  • Northern Illinois Food Bank and Prairie Farms Dairy for their collaboration to create the Milk2MyPlate program to help get fresh, wholesome and nutritious milk to local food banks serving people in the community in need.

The other award categories include:

  • Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability
  • Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability
  • Outstanding Achievement in Resource Stewardship

Award winners will receive:

  • An expense-paid trip to Chicago in June 2017 to the awards ceremony and dairy sustainability events
  • National and local recognition of their stories and passion for sustainability
  • The opportunity to spark greater progress by sharing their story and model for others to adopt
  • A featured case study on to share insights and lessons learned with industry peers
  • Opportunities to work with others in the dairy community to help advance sustainability

An independent panel of judges evaluates all nominations based on measurable results and the potential for others to adopt the practices. Nominations are also evaluated for demonstrated learning, innovation and improvement as well as scalability. Judges and sponsors will be announced soon.

Get more information here for nomination details and more. There is no fee to enter. Winners will be announced in June 2017.