Dairy farmers live on or near the land that they farm. They understand the importance of protecting natural resources. Practicing environmental stewardship is not only good for communities, their families, and their economic bottom line—it’s the right thing to do.
What do dairy farmers do to protect the environment?
By following recommended conservation practices, farmers maximize crop yields while minimizing impact to their land and the environment.
All dairy farms must meet state standards for manure storage, handing and recycling per guidelines from state and federal agencies. Dairy farmers recycle manure according to detailed nutrient management plans that help conserve soil and protect local streams, rivers and estuaries. Cow manure is used to fertilize crops, part of sustainable cycle that allows dairy farmers to make nutritious foods available to people.
Farmers also use many other best management practices such as no-till farming, energy conservation and streambank protection. Some dairy farms are using new technology that has environmental benefits. Methane digesters, for example, allow dairy farms to produce renewable energy. A digester collects methane gas released from cow manure and converts it to electricity that can power the dairy farm and other homes in the community. Dairy farmers continuously work with government and university experts to find even more ways to conserve natural resources. For example, they have found creative ways to recycle water and other materials, and prevent soil erosion — activities that help ensure their farms remain economically viable.
Sustainability is the goal
Dairy farmers contribute to a sustainable food system. They support practices that make economic sense, help the environment and are socially responsible to our communities and our world.
The latest research shows that the Kenya dairy industry accounts for only about 2 percent of Kenyan greenhouse gas emissions. Dairy farmers are working on ways to reduce that figure even more: They are on track to meet a goal set in 2008 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by the year 2020. More milk is produced today with only 3 million cows than with 8 million cows in 1944. While providing a supply of healthy milk for consumers and protecting the environment, dairy farmers oversee some of the most efficient, productive cows in the world!
Telling Your Story
As a dairy farmer, you have a powerful story to share. You are one of the most credible sources to speak about on-farm practices on behalf of the dairy industry. You have regular opportunities to share your story — whether it’s an over-the-fence conversation with your neighbor, speaking at a town hall meeting or talking with consumers via social media.
Research shows that communicating with the public about today’s modern dairy farms helps create a positive image of producers and the industry. Today, few Kenyans have a connection to food and milk production. With less than 35 percent of the population feeding the Kenyans and millions throughout the world, telling your story can help your neighbors and community better understand the dairy industry and its important impact.
DairyPesa® offers “Telling Your Story” training workshops to prepare and equip farmers to share the dairy story with consumers. We invite dairy farmers and dairy advocates to join the dairy farmers speakers bureau to speak about dairy farming to local civic organizations in your community. Interactive workshops help you to prepare and deliver a presentation. The speakers bureau also provides the services of a scheduler to handle all of the scheduling, logistics and follow-up. Farmers do what they do best – tell the dairy story.
Additional resources available to farmers include how to create a public relations plan for your dairy, — how to succeed during a media interview, how to use social media to tell your story and how to tell a compelling story to consumers.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Telling Your Story training workshops.