• Improving communication and coordination: USDA will establish a Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Working Group, including the dairy industry, to implement the strategies in the Roadmap, with a goal to identify and prioritize policies and technology opportunities by August 2015.
• Promoting biogas use through existing agency programs: Leveraging existing programs will provide a way to enhance the use of biogas systems in the U.S. by ensuring existing criteria for technical and financial assistance considers the benefits of biogas system, leveraging research funding, and strengthening programs that support the use of biogas for clean energy, transportation fuel, and other biobased products.
“On dairy farms, digesters can increasingly be part of the solution to manure management challenges and enhance our ability to sustain our farms for the next generation,” said Jim Werkhoven, a dairy farmer in Monroe, Washington, and Chairman, Darigold, Inc.
Biogas systems could help the dairy industry, which contributes approximately 2 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, to further reduce its carbon footprint. In 2009, the dairy industry established a voluntary goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2020. The Dairy Power project is one of a portfolio of projects to help achieve that goal; it focuses on harnessing the value of manure and realizing the potential of biogas systems for U.S. dairy farmers.
“Dairy farmers are taking many steps to provide nourishing dairy foods and beverages that are responsibly produced,” said Tom Gallagher, chief executive officer of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “Biogas systems are one example of many technologies available to the industry today that help us continuously improve our stewardship and contribute to our communities.”
Visit USDairy.com/DairyPower for information and case studies about biogas projects on dairy farms, and watch this video to see how a coalition of urban and rural partners -- including the Cleveland Browns – used a biogas system to recycle cow manure and food waste.
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.
Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® is a forum for the dairy industry to work together pre-competitively to address barriers and opportunities to foster innovation and increase sales. The Innovation Center aligns the collective resources of the industry against common priorities to offer consumers nutritious dairy products and ingredients, and promote the health of people, communities, the planet and the industry. The Board of Directors for the Innovation Center includes dairy industry leaders representing key producer organizations, dairy cooperatives, processors, manufacturers and brands. The Innovation Center is staffed by Dairy Management Inc™. Visit USDairy.com for more information about the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.