This week, I’m fortunate to be in Washington, D.C. to celebrate dairy’s long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability with a gathering of the Sustainability Council of the Innovation Center for U.S Dairy. I’m privileged to serve as a member of the Sustainability Council on behalf of our region’s dairy farmers.
This week’s meetings have focused on giving us the opportunity to work together on three primary things; shared vision, deep commitment and achieving results along the way.
As part of this meeting, the Innovation Center announced the winners of the 2nd Annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards to recognize dairy farmers and companies of different sizes, locations and histories that all exemplify the commitment to ensure healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy planet – for many generations to come.
The work that these dairy farmers do is inspiring. They don’t do it because of consumer pressure or expectation; they don’t do it because they have to or because it’s mandated. They do it because it makes sense to take care of their land and their animals. They do it because it is the right thing to do for their community, their business, their families, their legacies and our Earth.
I encourage you to read more about this year’s Sustainability Award winners here.
You can also view photos and video, which nicely captures their commitment and passion.
What continues to impress me the most about today and the Sustainability Awards ceremony is knowing that every day, every dairy farmer is practicing sustainability on their own farm in a variety of ways. As Paul Rovey, Chair of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) said, “Farming, sustainability and stewardship is about the little things we do on our land every day.”
Sustainability encompasses practices dairy farmers have done for generations, it simply has gone unnoticed. It’s about time these efforts are noticed and recognized.
A big congratulations to this year’s Sustainability Awards winners. You are truly an inspiration.