The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, established under the leadership of dairy producers, is now accepting nominations for the third year of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards.
These awards recognize outstanding dairy farms, businesses and collaborative partnerships for management practices that are good for the community, good for the planet, and good for business.
Nominations are open through Nov. 15, 2013, 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
•Outstanding Achievement in Renewable Energy
•Outstanding Achievement in Energy Efficiency
To help kick off the new call for nominations, the Innovation Center is proud to present Dairy's Sustainability Journey, a new video documentary series produced in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund. WWF and the Innovation Center are working together with the nation's dairy producers to develop, adopt and share new, science-based practices leading to a more sustainable dairy industry.
The short videos feature the 2013 winners of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards on their respective farm or operation, sharing their stewardship stories and sustainability practices in action.
"Sustainability is a journey that the dairy industry has been on for generations so that we can continue to contribute to a safe, affordable and nutritious food supply," says Barbara O'Brien, president of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. "Every operation is different, and we encourage dairy farms and businesses to think about the steps they have taken that add up to better use of natural resources, increased profitability and positive community contributions. Nominate yourself, your business partners, or your neighbors so that these stories can be shared, recognized and replicated."
This year's gold-level sponsors include: the Center for Advanced Energy Studies; DeLaval; DVO Anaerobic Digesters; Elanco Animal Health; HDR; InSinkErator; Tetra Pak Inc.; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; World Wildlife Fund and Zoetis. Silver-level sponsors include Organic Solution Management; Skip Shapiro Enterprises, LLC; and Syngenta.
An independent panel of judges will evaluate all nominations based on results of the project or initiative as measured by triple-bottom-line success — economic, environmental and social. Judges also will assess: the potential for other dairy farms and businesses to adopt the practices; demonstrated learning, innovation and improvement; and scalability.
Past award winners use various management practices that are good for the environment, the community and their farm businesses. On Petersen Dairy Farm in Appleton Wis., for example, Mark Petersen and his family purchase newspaper from local nonprofit schools and churches to use as bedding for their cows, and then recycle it with cow manure into compost for their neighbors. Learn more about past winners – their stories, successes and lessons to share — in the Awards Winner Brochure available online.
The awards are part of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Commitment, an industrywide effort to understand and communicate about dairy sustainability, demonstrate progress, create long-term economic growth and build consumer trust.
There is no fee to enter. For more information, go to USDairy.com/Sustainability/Awards or Facebook.com/DairyGood.
Source: Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy