The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®, established under the leadership of dairy farmers, is now accepting nominations for the second year of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards.

The award program recognizes dairy farms, businesses and collaborative partnerships for their contributions to healthy people, healthy products and a healthy planet and showcases that sustainability makes good business sense.

Nominations are open through Nov. 15, 2012, to all segments of the U.S. dairy value chain — from farm to table — for the following categories:

  • Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability
  • Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability
  • New this year! Outstanding Achievement in Renewable Energy
  • New this year! Outstanding Achievement in Energy Efficiency

An independent panel of judges will evaluate all nominations based on the program’s or project’s results as measured by triple-bottom-line success — economic, environmental and social. Judges also will assess: the potential for adoption of the practices by other dairy farms and businesses; demonstrated learning, innovation and improvement; and scalability.

“According to research conducted on behalf of the Innovation Center, sustainability isn’t about the size, age or location of a dairy operation. It’s the management practices that make the difference,” said Barbara O’Brien, president of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “Shining a light on best-management practices helps ensure that consumers can continue to feel good about choosing their favorite dairy foods and beverages.”

The inaugural U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards recognized seven dairy operations in March 2012 from across the dairy supply chain. Read about those winners here.

The awards are part of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Commitment, an industrywide effort to measure and improve the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the dairy industry. Launched in 2008, the Sustainability Commitment has the support and participation of hundreds of organizations across the industry as well as others from academic, government and non-governmental organizations.

Winners of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards will be announced in April 2013. In addition, honorees will share their stories and passion for sustainability on a national scale in forums and venues, and will be featured on

Deadline for applications is Nov. 15, 2012. There is no fee to enter. For more information or to nominate, go to