It's the job of the dairy farmer to make nutritious food and also leave the world in a better place than when they found it.

People are asking questions about their food, where it comes from, and how it impacts the environment.

Our dairy farm families are committed to responsible production, which means a fresher product at your table and even more delicious dairy for generations to come.

Every type of food we eat has an environmental impact. Overall, food accounts for 10-30% of a U.S. household’s carbon footprint. Other aspects of lifestyle, including travel and housing, make up a larger percentage of an individual’s footprint.

In recent decades, improvements in animal breeding, animal health programs, cow comfort, and farm management practices have allowed dairy cows today to make more milk from the same quantity of resources (or the same amount of milk with fewer resources). Currently, dairy makes up approximately 2% of U.S. total greenhouse gas emissions. Also, dairy in the U.S. creates the lowest amount of greenhouse gases per gallon of milk compared to the rest of the world.

Dairy’s Surprising Tie to Renewable Energy

See how dairy farmers are using “cow power”—among other sustainable practices like manure management—to ensure dairy is part of the environmental solution.


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Will Removing Dairy Cows Help Stop Climate Change?

Here’s a crazy idea: What if all milk production came to a halt? A group of scientists went beyond guessing and discovered that a reduction or pause in dairy production would lead to a drastic reduction in access to essential nutrients for many Americans.

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As part of its collective commitment to provide the world responsibly produced dairy foods that nourish people, strengthen communities, and foster a sustainable future, the U.S. dairy industry has set aggressive new 2050 environmental sustainability goals. These 2050 goals support a vision that dairy can be an environmental solution.

Specifically, the goals are: 

  • Achieve GHG neutrality 1.
  • Optimize water use while maximizing recycling.
  •  Improve water quality by optimizing utilization of manure and nutrients.

Learn more about the 2050 environmental goalsExplore below the ways dairy farmers in New England are reducing their impact further. 

1 In October 2021, the wording of the goal was clarified to reflect the intent of the work and U.S. dairy’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases, including methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. The original wording stated “to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050”. It has been changed to “to achieve GHG neutrality by 2050.”

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