Today’s dairy farm might not look like what you’d expect—the old red barn, a charmingly run-down tractor. It’s not because we’ve lost the romance of the American farm. We love what we do and where we do it. In fact, we’ve been doing it long enough to make huge strides in efficiencies that tackle today’s environmental challenges head-on.
The Washington dairy community is leading the nation in innovative ways to lower greenhouse gas emissions, recycle water, cut food waste, and minimize packaging, all while keeping animal welfare first and foremost. Yes, the world is facing big environmental challenges. We are up for the task—in some ways that might surprise you.
While the dairy industry is only responsible for 2% of national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (a drop in the bucket, to use a phrase we’re familiar with), we’ve worked hard to lower our footprint and are committed to exciting things down the road. Our big push is to be GHG neutral by 2050. In the meantime, we’ve significantly decreased emissions and water usage both in the past 15 years. We’re even bringing manure to the party to help save water and maximize nutrients in the soil.
Here are the goals for meeting our Net Zero Initiative by 2050: