Dairy industry says ‘yes’ to sustainability

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Less than 2 percent.

That’s how much of the total greenhouse gas  emissions in the United States are contributed by the nation’s dairy industry.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy points out this and other facts in a new YouTube video produced to show the strides the nation’s dairy industry has made in shrinking their carbon footprint while feeding a growing global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050.

According to the video, the dairy industry has reduced their carbon footprint by 63 percent since 1944 and commits to reducing emissions by an additional 25 percent by 2020. That’s the equivalent to taking 1.5 million passenger cars off the road each year.

Other information that can be gleaned from the video include:

  • defining sustainability and how it relates to dairy farmers;
  • manure’s role in the nutrient cycle agriculture; and
  • energy possibilities provided through anaerobic digesters

Learn more about the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy here.

Need more information? Here is an article from Michigan State University that defined sustainable agriculture at the macro-level.  For those looking for a little inspiration, here are the latest winners of the Center’s 2012 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards. 

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David Avila    
Oakdale, California  |  May, 31, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I have technology to remove VOCs (volitile organic gases) from cattle housing and any source of VOCs as well. The system is very simple and uses very little horse power. Nevertheless, anyone involved with crop production understands an increase in CO2 gases in the atmosphere will have a VERY possitive affect on crop production considering CO2 is the primary element in photosynthesis!!

Buffalo, N.Y.  |  June, 01, 2012 at 09:37 AM

I don't think substainability refers to just greenhouse gases, but the total footfrint left by operating a dairy. Now with the mega Daries we have today there is no such thing as substainability, The foot print they leave is huge and the comsumption is massave. This substainability thing with the large daries we have today is just rederic.

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