As our society grows, so does the demand for food.
The US agriculture sector must continuously feed our communities while discovering efficient, sustainable practices that protect the earth we depend on.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s U.S. Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emission Report, the agriculture sector emits 10% of the total greenhouse gases (GHG) contributed to US industries, while dairy farming consists of less than 2% of US emissions. Playing a vital role in providing nutritious, balanced meals to Americans, farming is also combatting climate change to create a safe, sustainable future without greenhouse gas pollution.
As environmental stewards, dairy farmers impact the land, water, and air every day, and they continuously innovate and adopt new practices and technologies to produce the same amount of nutritious food using fewer natural resources. In doing this, they minimize their impact on the planet while responsibly producing dairy foods that nourish people, strengthen their community, and foster a sustainable future.
US dairy has pledged to the Net Zero Initiative, which promises to discover how dairy farms of different sizes and in different regions can implement sustainable solutions. Think about it. Not every farm is big enough to afford the latest technology in fighting a changing climate, nor does the tools of one region and their environment work for another. The solution is not a one-size-fits-all one, and the industry is working together to find an ever-improving path for sustainable agriculture.
Dairy farmers plan to take advantage of the unique resources cows provide to improve practices. The Net Zero Initiative has four key areas of improvement: feed production, manure handling/nutrient management, cow care and efficiency, and on-farm energy efficiency and renewable energy use.
By 2050, the US dairy industry plans to be carbon neutral or better by reducing greenhouse gases like methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide. Other goals include optimizing water usage and improving water quality.
Through these efforts, the dairy industry continues to improve its contributions to communities across the country by providing nutritious dairy foods through environmentally friendly practices and technologies.
Browse our Sustainability & Dairy page to learn more.