Dairy Processing - July/August 2022 - 67

Leading the way
W
by Barbara O'Brien | Dairy Management Inc.
e live in an increasingly uncertain world. As
business leaders, we grapple with growing
concerns tied to food and energy security,
and now climate change mitigation. The situation will only
become more pronounced in the coming months as the
global economy risks stagflation, the Russian war constrains
Ukraine's grain crop supplies, continued weather and water
patterns limit US agricultural productivity, and supply chain
and labor shortages disrupt access.
The dairy industry must acknowledge the tensions that
influence our business by addressing short-term challenges to
keep nutritious food moving to market and meet the longterm
demands for resilience and regeneration and balancing
the struggles of those who produce food and the demands of
those who consume it.
SUSTAINABLY PRODUCED PRODUCTS
Like many sectors, we have a responsibility and a
commitment to ensure the products we provide people around
the world are nutritious and sustainably produced as this is
increasingly important to customers and consumers. That's
why dairy farmers have a long-standing commitment to health
and wellness as well as how they care for their animals and
the natural resources.
Part of that commitment is a focus to develop technologypowered
breakthrough science and innovation to advance US
dairy's wellness and sustainability leadership.
To that end, one of US dairy's greatest strengths is its
diversity and commitment to sustainability. Across 30,000
farms, no two dairies are exactly alike, but all dairy farmers
are committed to ensuring their land and business can be
passed on to the next generation, which is why solutions to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions also need to be diverse.
The US dairy industry is committed to achieving
greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 while identifying new
technologies and products that help other sectors and
businesses reduce their environmental footprint. To accelerate
the US dairy's progress toward 2050, six national dairy
organizations partnered to initiate the US Dairy Net Zero
Initiative.
These organizations are working on research, on-farm
pilots, the development of manure-based products and
ecosystem markets, and other activities. In fact, cow manure,
while often criticized as harmful to the environment, can
present significant, untapped potential for dairy farmers to cut
back on emissions while generating renewable energy that is
cost efficient and better for the planet.
It is truly a pioneering effort - when solved for dairy, can be
transferred to other parts of agriculture, ultimately becoming a
catalyst for broader change.
COLLABORATION
One of the key ingredients to dairy's success is our ability to
collaborate on progress toward a common goal. This means
farmers, processors, companies, and brands all working
together. In the US, we are working alongside multinational
organizations such as The Nature Conservancy to share
expertise and accelerate impact, all to create a more
regenerative, equitable and nutritious food system.
If it is more feasible and profitable for dairy farmers to
implement systems that use cow manure for renewable energy
and biodegradable products, recycle wastewater, sequester
carbon and adopt new innovations we have yet to discover, US
dairy will do more than improve its environmental footprint. It
will help fundamentally drive a sustainable and nutritious food
system that can nourish our planet.
Dairy farmers' leadership and ingenuity are charting a path
for all of agriculture to follow.
Dairy can lead the way.
Barbara O'Brien is the president and chief executive officer
of Dairy Management, Inc. (DMI), Rosemont, Ill. DMI is an
American trade association dedicated to promoting the sale
of American-made dairy products.
DAIRYPROCESSING.COM | JUL-AUG 2022 67
The dairy industry must acknowledge the tensions that influence business.
http://www.DAIRYPROCESSING.COM

Dairy Processing - July/August 2022

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Dairy Processing - July/August 2022 - Intro
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