Every April we rally together in celebration of the Earth. On Earth Day especially, we’re reminded of the continued need to protect our natural resources. For dairy farmers, however, sustainability is a major focus every day when they produce nutritious milk — it's made with care for the planet in mind.
In fact, there are seven ways we can all be more like dairy farmers in showing our commitment to environmental sustainability.
#1 Replace old lights with high-efficiency LED lights.
Ar-Joy Farm replaced traditional lights with LED lights to reduce electricity usage in the barns while still making it bright for the cows and people.
#2 Reuse water more than once.
Instead of making pasta and draining the water down the sink, use it to water your plants. Stauffer Farms stores the water that they use to cool their milk and then use it to wash up the parlor after each milking.
#3 Use regular towels instead of paper towels.
Washing and reusing regular towels helps Star Rock Farms avoid the wastefulness of throwing away paper towels seconds after being used.
#4 Use leftovers for an extra meal!
Cows can be picky eaters, too! Dutch Hollow Farm makes sure not to waste feed. Instead, they take any “leftovers” and feed them to a different group of cows to reduce waste.
#5 Grow and preserve food when its fresh to nourish you year-round.
Welcome Stock Farm grows their crops throughout the spring and summer to harvest them and then ferments them (like pickling or canning) so the cows will have nutrient rich feed throughout the winter.
#6 Plan out your travel route to conserve fuel.
Meadow Vista Farm plans each route for spring crop work as efficiently as possible to reduce fuel usage — and time on the road, too.
#7 Opt for reusable dishware for serving meals.
Richmond Farms Dairy feeds their calves using bottles and then washes them after each meal to keep their calves healthy.
There are so many small things that we can do to make a difference in our footprint on the earth. Like dairy farmers, changing how we do things can collectively have a big impact on our environment — and preserve and protect our planet for future generations.
American Dairy Association North East is one of 16 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association. It is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council®, which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. For more information, visit www.americandairy.com.