The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s 2022 Sustainability Awards continue to recognize the work of the dairy community in providing environmental, social and economic benefits making up the three pillars of sustainability.
Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

In the following pages, you’ll get an in-depth look at the farms, businesses and organizational partnerships recognized for their sustainability leadership.

Reading through their stories, you’ll find many of this year’s award recipients have developed deep heritages of sustainability and continue to strengthen those legacies through the implementation of on-farm and industry best management practices. They are also utilizing new technologies and techniques to write new chapters in dairy’s sustainability story.

“This year’s winners exemplify how forward-thinking and regenerative efforts across the entire supply chain have led to positive results and what it means to be an environmental solution,” says Barbara O’Brien, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “Considered collectively, these stories of success serve as examples of all the good things U.S. dairy is doing for planetary health and why the aggressive goals we have set are within reach.”

This year’s award recipients represent the full diversity of U.S. dairy, both in type and geography. Farms are addressing water quality and soil health challenges in environmentally sensitive watershed areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin; tackling water quality, erosion and wildlife issues in North Carolina’s Piedmont region; and air quality challenges in California’s Central Valley. A dairy cooperative partner is partnering on projects to plant trees and clean the Chesapeake Bay while developing financial and technical resources for its farmer members to expand their efforts. One company has found efficient ways to reduce their environmental footprint and that of cheesemakers while capturing dairy nutrients from whey. A pilot project brings together participants at three levels to build dairy sustainability across the entire dairy supply chain.

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As they strive to meet consumer transparency and traceability demands, they all address needs and achieve goals, measuring success in time-honored standards and in new metrics unknown a decade ago. Common threads include creating projects that can be replicated and advance leadership and inspire positive change industrywide.

2022 awards are presented in four categories:

  • The Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability category recognizes farmers for practices and technologies that demonstrate exemplary economic, environmental and/or social benefits and continuous improvement in dairy production.

  •  The Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability category recognizes efforts to innovate, measure and communicate sustainability projects that benefit the dairy community and inform continuous improvement industrywide.

  • The Community Impact category recognizes efforts that improve lives and communities through positive impacts on health and wellness, hunger relief, workforce development, community volunteering and investment, and/or environmental stewardship.

  • The Supply Chain Collaboration category celebrates collaborative and market-based partnerships to demonstrate that truly sustainable outcomes come when all parts of the supply chain are involved in finding solutions.

In its 11th year, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has recognized more than 85 award recipients since 2011. A formal celebration of the 2022 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winners is scheduled in conjunction with the Fall Dairy Sustainability Alliance meeting, Nov. 18-19, in Las Vegas.  end mark

Getty Images compilation by Corey Lewis.

Dave Natzke

RECIPIENTS OF 2022 U.S. DAIRY SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS

Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability

Grayhouse Farms,
Stony Point, North Carolina

Schlangen Dairy,
Albany, Minnesota

Deer Run Dairy LLC,
Kewaunee County, Wisconsin

Bar 20 Dairy,
Kerman, California

Outstanding Supply Chain Collaboration

Bel Brands USA, Land O’Lakes, Inc. and Boadwine Dairy

Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability

Milk Specialties Global,
Monroe, Wisconsin

Outstanding Community Impact

Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association