The following was written by Indiana State University dietetic intern, Brandon
With April 22 being Earth day, it can be important to talk about sustainability. Dairy farmers are always trying to find new ways to reduce, recycle, and reuse everything from farm to table!
According to the United States Innovation Center for Dairy, the United States uses about 22% of the world’s energy. Dairy uses about 2% of the country’s energy production and has reduced its carbon emissions by 63% since 1950. It plans to further reduce this amount by another 25% by 2020
Here are some things that farmers do to help the environment, and provide a better product for you!
One way is by using manure from dairy cows. Manure can be used for many things such as fertilizer for crops to reduce the use of commercial fertilizers. Another use is through help of specialized equipment, it can also be recycled into a clean energy source to be put back into the community to lower energy costs or to be put back into the dairy farm. During the same process, it can also be refined into a clean packaging or building material.
For dairy farms, position of buildings and what they are made of matter! Using the latest technology to maximize dairy productive and energy conservation, buildings are made of special material to help keep heat in, and air flow optimal
One new technology is robotic milking machines for the cows. More farms are transitioning to robotic milking, which allows cows to choose when they want to be milked. The cow simply walks up to the robot, gets a nice snack as a reward, and the robot milks her, all without human help. This can make the farm more efficient because cows typically produce a little more milk when they can be milked more frequently. Some farmers say their cows are also more relaxed using robots because they don’t need to be moved as frequently by the farmers.
For condensed milk products, moisture has to be removed from the milk before it can be packaged for the consumer. The water gotten from these dairy products can be used to water crops and provide drinkable water for both cattle and humans
There are many aMOOzing ways that dairy farmers strive to reduce, recycle, and reuse for a greener and cleaner future! Solar energy and energy from wind turbines is also a great way to reduce the amount of resources being used for a brighter future.
Be sure to visit the above videos for the full stories! Be sure to celebrate for Earth day in your own way!