**This is Part 1 of my blog series on the US Dairy Sustainability Forum. This blog will cover the Forum and the goals set for the future.**
In May, my husband, Daniel, and I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 US Dairy Sustainability Forum in Rosemont, IL. And I was asked to be the Emcee for the Sustainability Awards Ceremony that honors outstanding farms, businesses and community outreach programs across the country for their environmental stewardship. (I will be sharing more on the award winners in Part Two of this blog series.) This event is always one of my favorites. An amazing line-up of speakers, sponsors and of course, the award winners. And the thought provocating discussions on the future of dairy farming is second to none.
Goals for Dairy Sustainability
The US Dairy Sustainability Alliance gives us the opportunity to not only share our accomplishments and honor the winners but set goals for the future. This year, we discussed our new goal for the future. We as an industry are striving for net neutral emissions by 2050. Talk about a big goal! And while I still have about a thousand questions as to what this would look like, what metrics will we be measuring and how will this work differently for different regions. It definitely got our wheels turning.
Looking to the Future
The entire trip home Daniel and I talked back and forth about how close we think our farm may or may not be to net neutral already. We started conversations about how we could calculate it and what we would need to look at. We also discussed what we would need to improve. But the seed is planted. We want to start by figuring out our current on-farm emissions. And we are working on some big changes for the future. So stay tuned!
Be the Change
But that’s really what this Forum is all about, opening up the discussions and pushing us to think outside the box. We have all been charged with the goal of feeding the world efficiently and responsibly while conserving the planet’s natural resources. Providing for more people with less. To do this we will have to come up with new ways of improving. Things we couldn’t even imagine today. The worst sentence in the English language is, “That’s the way it has always been done”. And for agriculture, things are changing now more than ever. We need to continue to grow and adapt. I want to thank the US Dairy Alliance for helping for just that.
New Mexico Milkmaid