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Sustainability Equals Profitability

September 6, 2013

Panel discusses how environmental sustainability leads to profit.

Dairy Today has teamed up with Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy to pull together a panel on environmental sustainability and profitability at the 2013 Elite Producer Business Conference in Las Vegas Nov. 11 – 13.

Following is a Q and A with the panel speakers:

BryanWeech BrazilBryan Weech, World Wildlife Fund

What is the World Wildlife Fund’s interest in agriculture, i.e, how does agriculture impact wildlife habitat?

Weech: We currently use between 30-40% percent of the earth’s surface for food. Twenty-five percent isn’t useable (deserts, cities, roads) and 12% is set aside for National Parks. Each year we continue to expand food production into natural habitat. If we don’t do something to curb this expansion, there won’t be any natural habitat left.

With burgeoning human population growth expected to climb to 9 billion people by 2050, isn’t it inevitable that wildlife habitat will succumb to human food/fiber needs?

Weech: If we continue ‘business as usual’ it is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can do more with less by changing the way we grow, produce, and deliver food. In fact, we can triple food production using the same amount of land by 2050. While not easy, this can be achieved by improving management practices, selecting crop strains for hardiness, implementing new technology, using land to full capacity, negotiating property rights, and eliminating waste and overconsumption.

2013 Elite Producer Business Conference

Dairy Today’s 2013 Elite Producer Business Conference (EPBC) will again be held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nov. 11 – 13.
For the first time, the EPBC will start at 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11 and wrap up 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13. The revised start and end times allow attendees to participate for the entire conference and still make cross-country flight schedules.
Michael Swanson, chief economist for Wells Fargo, will keynote the meeting with his much-in-demand views on global dairy economics.
Along with a panel on how dairy sustainability feeds profits, we’re featuring producer panels on vertical integration, relocation and satellite dairies and our ever popular panel with Dairy Today Dollars and Sense panelists.
For more on the 2013 Elite Producer Business Conference, go to

How can intensive agriculture in North America preserve rain forest and habitat in So. America, Africa and Asia?

Weech: As the demand for beef is increasing around the world, more and more natural habitats are being converted into farmland, particularly as existing pastures become degraded and less productive. Intensive, smarter agricultural practices in North America can curb that trend in two ways. First of all, by maximizing the land we have and producing more locally, we can import less, directly removing the financial incentive for farmers in other parts of the world to clear important forests and natural habitats. Secondly, these techniques in North America can be perfected and refined to a point where we can export our processes to producers in other countries.

What are WWF and other conservation organizations asking/expecting of farmers?

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FEATURED IN: Dairy Today - September 2013

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