2014 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winners (from left): Michael Gallo, Joseph Gallo Farms; Steve Vander Haak, Vander Haak Dairy; Dean Marshik, Marshik Dairy; Andrea Sensenig, Sensenig Dairy; Ken McCarty, McCarty Family Farms; Steve Maddox, Maddox Dairy.
Winners embody the dairy industry’s pledge to provide a healthy future for the next generation.
Source: The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy
Rosemont, Ill. — The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®, established under the leadership of dairy farmers, announced the winners of the third annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards on May 14, 2014, at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The program recognizes dairy farms, businesses and collaborative partnerships that are committed to stewardship and sustainability, delivering exceptional results that are good for business, good for the environment and good for the community.
"The award winners embody the dairy industry’s pledge to provide a healthy future for the next generation through nutritious foods and beverages, community development and innovative business practices," said Barbara O’Brien, president of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. "This pledge was recently corroborated by the White House’s reference to the voluntary actions and continuous improvements of dairy farms and companies in its announcement of a Biogas and Energy Roadmap."
The winners were selected based on results as measured by economic, environmental and community impact, also known as triple-bottom-line success. An independent panel of judges — which included experts from academic institutions, government, dairy science organizations, nongovernmental organizations and media, as well as environmental and dairy industry leaders — also assessed the potential for adoption by others, demonstrated learning, innovation, improvement and scalability.
"As farmers, we feel a strong sense of responsibility to our communities, the land and our animals, and we want to pass along a strong business to the next generation," said Paul Rovey, an Arizona dairy farmer, member of the judging panel and chair of Dairy Management Inc™. "We are always looking at how others innovate and implement better practices. By sharing the winners’ stories, we can all learn and improve."
The 2014 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards Winners include:
Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability
Maddox Dairy, Riverdale, California: The pioneer spirit of the Maddox family has led to opened doors for the dairy industry. The total mixed ration feeding method, the use of drive-through freestall barns and galvanized self-locking stations — standards in today’s industry — are techniques trailblazed by Maddox Dairy. Recent projects have resulted in reduced costs, lower environmental impact, and healthier, more productive livestock for the dairy; and cleaner air and energy for the surrounding community.
McCarty Family Farms, Rexford, Kansas: In its quest to conserve water, McCarty Family Farms partnered with Dannon to construct a condensed milk processing plant that extracts more than 14 million gallons of water from milk each year. The water can be used for animal and crop care. McCarty Family Farms also is working to create sustainable communities, bringing more than 100 new jobs to the area, which translates into more children in the local school districts, increased housing demand, and tax revenues for the county and state.
Sensenig Dairy, Kirkwood, Pennsylvania: In order to ensure their farm would be viable for the next generation, Cliff and Andrea Sensenig implemented a methane digester. Three years of planning and collaboration with consultants and neighbors led to a digester that now processes manure from 200 dairy animals, 2,000 hogs and 30,000 chickens from neighboring farms, along with local food waste. Each year the digester reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to removing 206 cars from the road, while delivering environmental and financial benefits for the dairy.