American Dairy Association North East actively partners with local environmental organizations to cultivate relationships that ultimately build trust in dairy.

“Securing support from environmental groups across our six-state region is crucial to helping develop and build trust in the dairy industry,” said ADA North East CEO John Chrisman. “We are determined to show that dairy is part of the solution for environmental protection and sustainability.

“Having a seat at the table with our environmental partners gives us the opportunity to show that dairy farmers are committed to caring for the land, air and water resources for the benefit of their farms, communities and future generations.”

ADA North East Director of Environmental Outreach Ron Ohrel is building relationships with several environmental education organizations to encourage them to use agriculture as a context for education, including New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Most recently, he presented at the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education annual conference about the U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative (NZI). The NZI is a collaboration of dairy organizations to advance research, on-farm pilots, and new market development to make sustainability practices more accessible and affordable to farms of all sizes.

Ohrel also coordinated a farm tour with the Maryland educators, many of whom had never visited a dairy farm, to Long Green Farms in Rising Sun, Md., owned by Caleb and Alice Crothers. Post-tour surveys showed that the participants’ perceptions of dairy farming and farmers’ focus on sustainability improved after seeing an operation first-hand.

ADA North East also frequently partners with Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to help build consumer trust in dairy. A main area of focus for the Alliance is working with dairy farmers and landowners to implement conservation practices to plant riparian buffers along streams and creeks to protect waterways that eventually flow into the Chesapeake Bay.

Partners for Healthy Watersheds is an organization of which ADA North East is a member, along with Northeast Dairy Producers Association, New York Animal Agriculture Coalition and the Cayuga County Farm Bureau. Together the partners advocate for environmentally sustainable and economically feasible nutrient management solutions in local New York watersheds. serves as a resource for consumers to understand what dairy farmers are doing to sustainably produce a safe, nutritious product like milk. The website offers information on manure management, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, technology, watershed protection, on-farm recycling, among other topics to show that farmers are dedicated stewards of the land.