USDEC Members in Action

MMPA's Sarah Michalek champions a more sustainable future for Michigan's dairy industry

January 22, 2024

The Nature Conservancy in Michigan named Sarah Michalek, sustainability supervisor for the Michigan Milk Producers Association, the recipient of TNC’s 2023 Conservation Excellence Agribusiness Award. In her current role, Michalek has overseen a multitude of initiatives aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the dairy supply chain.

Click on the arrow below for more details.  

TIME100 Climate recognizes Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford

November 20, 2023

Under CEO Beth Ford’s leadership, Land O’Lakes’ sustainability business Truterra has paid farmers more than $9 million to sequester 462,000 metric tons of carbon as of May 2023. 

That helps explain why TIME magazine has chosen Ford among the 100 most influential climate leaders for business for 2023. 

Click on the arrow below to learn more. 

USDEC member companies to pursue sustainability goals with USDA funding

November 13, 2023

Five USDEC member companies have received USDA funding to advance ambitious industry commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, optimize water usage and improve water quality. 

Agropur, California Dairies Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association and Tillamook County Creamery Association received funding ranging from $4 million to $22.8 million through USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

To see what each of the USDEC members plans to do with the grant money, click the arrow below and download PDF.   

Midwest Dairy co-sponsors program to teach Nebraska students about agriculture

September 2023

The Ag Sack Lunch Program is an opportunity to teach students in Nebraska about where their food comes from and gain an appreciation for the meals they eat each day. It is included as a feature when fourth-grade classrooms visit the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln.  

Along with a 25-minute presentation, the students receive a free sack lunch consisting of Nebraska-produced food items. 

USDEC member Midwest Dairy is one of the sponsors, along with the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Soybean Board, Nebraska Beef Council and others. 

USDEC member shares sustainability story with U.S. Congressman

August 2023

Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay hosted U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) on a Pennsylvania farm in early August to discuss bringing flexible sustainability funding to U.S. farmers in the upcoming farm bill and beyond.

During the farm tour, Congressman Smucker experienced the sustainability investments made to the farm which included barnyard restoration and stabilization, manure storage, the planting of a riparian forest buffer, and exclusion fencing to keep cows out of local waterways.

Click arrow below to learn more. 

Prairie Farms Dairy celebrates 85th anniversary & National Dairy Month by giving back

June 2023

Prairie Farms kicked off Dairy Month in a big way by partnering with 30 Feeding America® food banks to donate 85 pallets of milk, which is over 346,000 milk servings. The donation honors the cooperative’s dairy farm families for their essential role in providing milk and dairy products to American families for 85 years.

Learn more by clicking on the arrow below. 

California Dairies invests in livestock carbon marketplace

May 1, 2023

California Dairies Inc., the largest dairy farmer-owned cooperative in California and second largest in the U.S., invested in Athian, which purports to be the world's first carbon marketplace for the livestock sector, according to this article in Dairy Foods magazine. 

Athian provides livestock producers with economic incentives for on-farm sustainability practices, while helping improve global food system sustainability and reducing climate warming.

Biden selects Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford to serve on export council

March 1, 2023

The White House announced that Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford will join the President’s Export Council.

Ford will serve on the 25-member panel that acts as the major national advisory committee on international trade. Based on their extensive knowledge of trade issues, the 25 members will advise Biden and his administration on how current and proposed government policies and programs would affect U.S. trade performance. 

Click on arrow below to read article from Twin Cities Business. 

MMPA dairy farmers shine in national quality award program

February 2, 2023

Sixteen Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) dairy farms were awarded National Dairy Quality Awards by the National Mastitis Council (NMC).

These MMPA members make up 35 percent of the 45 nationally recognized farms in the annual award program. One MMPA farm earned the highest honor, which was granted to only six farms in the U.S. The platinum award winner was Crandall Dairy Farm in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Click on arrow below to learn more. 

Dairy media invited for up close view of Tillamook’s dairy processing operations

December 12, 2022 

Fourteen members of the media were invited to experience all things dairy at the headquarters of Tillamook County Creamery Association in Oregon. Wearing headsets as they toured the second-floor viewing gallery, they were able to see Tillamook's cheese processing operations in action. After getting a bird's eye view of the cheesemaking operations, it was time to sample some of the brand's cult classics, pointed out Dairy Foods magazine's Barbara Harfmann. "With all the deliciousness and educational inspiration from start to finish, the Tillamook Experience is one that I won't soon forget," she said. 

DairyAmerica is U.S. Dairy Exporter of Year

October 11, 2022

DairyAmerica is honored for its service to the U.S. dairy industry, its passionate approach to trade and for exporting dairy ingredients to more than 60 countries.

The Dairy Exporter of the Year award is given by Dairy Foods magazine and sponsored by USDEC in honor of the late Tom Camerlo, a former USDEC chairman with a vision to dramatically expand exports of U.S. cheese and dairy ingredients.

Learn more by clicking below. 

Darigold breaks ground on new production facility

September 8, 2022

Darigold, Inc. hosted a commemorative groundbreaking ceremony yesterday at the site of its future Pasco production facility. The $600 million facility is slated to open in early 2024 and will process approximately 8 million pounds of milk per day when fully operational from more than 100 dairy farms in surrounding communities.

Foremost Farms donates time, butter to Wisconsin State Fair

August 16, 2022

Foremost Farms offered its support to the Wisconsin State Fair this year in the form of product and volunteers. More than 1,000 pounds of butter were donated by Foremost Farms to the Dairy Promotions Board to be used at one of the fair's busiest pop-up restaurants, the Real Wisconsin Cheese Grill. Sixteen Foremost Farms employees committed to volunteering a total of 48 hours to the cheese grill. 

Click below to learn more. 

USDEC member MMPA spotlights farmer sustainability efforts

August 9, 2022

Efficiency is the name of the game for Brian DeMann at Clearview Dairy Farm in Martin, Michigan. With their 560-cow milking herd, DeMann and his family continuously seek additional efficiencies. They've found that many sustainable practices work hand-in-hand with achieving their goals. 

Check out the full MMPA blog post by clicking below.  

United Dairymen of Arizona unveils 2030 sustainability targets

June 22, 2022

United Dairymen of Arizona has joined the fight against climate change with its recently approved science-based targets, which provide a clearly defined roadmap to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals. To ensure United Dairymen of Arizona collected the most meaningfrul data, team members from across business collaborated to establish an accurate baseline.

To read more, click below. 

Community support a core value for AMPI and its Dinner Bell Creamery

June 14, 2022

Caring for others is a core value at Associated Milk Producers Inc. and its Dinner Bell Creamery. Just ask Dinner Bells' Randi Blackstad, who organizes a team for the local Walk for Diabetes fundraiser every year. Dinner Bell farmer-owners and employees invest significant time and funding in activities that support their communities. In 2021, the Dinner Bell employee team volunteered more than 10,000 hours for a variety of causes.

Learn more about Dinner Bell Creamery by clicking below.

Dairy Farmers of America helping to stock foodbanks

June 14, 2022

USDEC member Dairy Farmers of America launched the DFA Cares Foundation’s Farmers Feeding Families Fund in April 2020 as a way to meet the increasing need for food at America’s foodbanks as a result of COVID-19. The fund, which started with a generous donation from one of DFA’s family farmer-owners has since raised almost $850,000 and provided dairy products for those in need across the country. 

Click below to download a link to DFA's Farmers Feeding Families Fund. 

Outstanding dairy processing sustainability: Milk Specialties Global

June 7, 2022

Milk Specialties Global (MSG) acquired a plant to collect and process whey, a by-product of cheesemaking, into whey proteins. However, the whey supply from local cheesemakers far outweighed processing capacity. Instead of trucking the whey to a larger plant, MSG found a way to double capacity at the plant without increasing the facility’s environmental footprint. 

Click below to learn more about MSG and other dairy sustainability award winners.



U.S. dairy product profile

Outstanding supply chain sustainability: Land O’Lakes partnership with Bel Brands and Boadwine Dairy

June 7, 2022

USDEC member Land O’Lakes participates in a program demonstrating the value of feed production practices that improve soil health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project provides cost incentives, access to resources and expertise for participating farms. The first pilot took place on Boadwine Dairy, a member-owner of Land O’Lakes, and the program is being expanded to other dairy farms.

Click below for more details.  

 

Outstanding community impact: Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Assn.

June 7, 2022

With a majority of its members located within the critical Chesapeake Bay watershed, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association (MDVA) recognizes its responsibility to bring environmental solutions to its members and their communities. Volunteers from MDVA and its partners participate in events such as planting riparian buffers on dairy farms and trash pick-ups along waterways.

Click below to learn more about MDVA’s award-winning environmental initiatives. 



Video captures Darigold’s commitment to sustainability

May 15, 2022

Darigold’s farmer-owners have long embraced a spirit of continuous improvement and resource stewardship in sustainably producing milk for high-quality dairy products and ingredients. The people at Darigold take sustainability very seriously, joining the U.S. dairy community in pledging to reach GHG neutrality by 2050. Sustainability is an enterprise-wide priority for Darigold. 

Click below to view a video featuring Darigold's sustainability efforts.