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 carbon emissions and methane, 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 global carbon 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 carbon neutral or better by 2050. In the meantime, emissions have gone down a good chunk in the past 15 years. Same with water usage. We’re even bringing manure to the party to help save water and maximize nutrients in the soil.
Here’s how we’re meeting our Net Zero Initiative by 2050: