U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards Seek Nominees for 10-year Anniversary Class

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards – celebrating its 10-year anniversary – is seeking nominations for its Class of 2021.

The farmer-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which unites the industry through a shared social responsibility platform, launched the awards to honor exceptional farms, businesses and partnerships for their socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally sound practices and technologies that have a broad and positive impact.

More than 70 winners from 250-plus nominees have been recognized over the past decade. They serve as examples of the dairy industry’s commitment to social responsibility, including the 2050 Environmental Stewardship goals announced last year. The goals, set by the Innovation Center through extensive industry and stakeholder collaboration, seek to achieve carbon neutrality, optimize water usage and improve water quality by 2050.

“Every award winner exemplifies the best of dairy sustainability and ingenuity, providing useful case studies for the dairy community as it moves forward to meet industrywide commitments, including dairy’s 2050 Environmental Stewardship goals,” said Barbara O’Brien, president of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “We’re excited to honor our next class of winners during this milestone year for both the awards program and the Innovation Center.”

The deadline for award submissions is March 26 and they can be submitted at www.USDairy.com/2021Awards. There is no fee to enter. All farms, companies and organizations involved in the U.S. dairy industry and engaged in collaborative and sustainable dairy-related practices are eligible to submit nominations in the following categories:

Dairy Farm Sustainability

The Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability category recognizes farmers for practices and technologies that demonstrate exemplary economic, environmental and/or social benefits and continuous improvement in dairy production. Successful nominations take a holistic approach to sustainability and provide replicable results that can advance on-farm dairy leadership and inspire positive change industrywide.

Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability

The Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability category recognizes demonstrated steps to innovate, measure and communicate progress within the triple bottom line of sustainability. It provides replicable success stories to benefit the dairy community and to inform continuous improvement industrywide.

Community Impact

The Community Impact category commends efforts that improve lives and communities through positive impacts on health and wellness, hunger relief, workforce development, community volunteering and investment, and/or environmental stewardship. Successful nominations demonstrate how farms, cooperatives, processors or other dairy community stakeholders (either collaboratively or as a single entity) develop practical and effective solutions to shared challenges and goals of the communities in which they live and work.

Supply Chain Collaboration

The Supply Chain Collaboration category celebrates collaborative and market-based partnerships to demonstrate that truly sustainable outcomes come when all parts of the supply chain are involved in finding solutions. This award highlights farm-to-fork engagement through a collaborative farm, cooperative processor, and/or retail/foodservice partnership to benefit all involved and to provide best-in-class examples of sustainable dairy supply chains.

The 2021 winners will receive:

  • An official commemorative plaque
  • Recognition during June Dairy Month with members of the U.S. dairy community, media and other stakeholders
  • National and local recognition of their stories and passion for sustainability via media
  • A featured case study on usdairy.com to share insights and lessons learned with industry peers
  • Opportunities to work with others in the dairy community to help advance sustainability

An independent panel of judges evaluates all nominations based on measurable results, demonstrated innovation and learning, and the potential for other dairy farms and businesses to adopt the practices.

Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® is a forum that brings together the dairy community to address the changing needs and expectations of consumers through a framework of shared best practices and accountability. Initiated in 2008 by dairy farmers, Innovation Center members collaborate on efforts that are important both to us and our valued customers – issues like animal care, food safety, nutrition and health, the environment and economics. The Innovation Center is committed to continuous improvement from farm to table, striving to provide the world responsibly produced dairy foods that nourish people, strengthen communities and foster a sustainable future.

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.