Spotlighting Dairy’s Positive Role in Fighting Climate Change
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — December 1, 2021 — The California Dairy Sustainability Summit organizing committee today announced dates for the next event, which will take place April 12-14, 2022. The virtual summit will host timely discussions as dairy farmers and organizations around the world partner to reduce climate emissions and improve overall dairy sustainability. Speakers will highlight innovative technologies, partnerships, and projects on California’s family dairy farms as well as global efforts that are driving progress. Ultimately, the program aims to promote education and collaboration to ensure the continued availability of affordable, nutrient-rich foods—now and for future generations.
“California dairy farmers have been making tremendous strides, working in partnership to reduce methane emissions through the voluntary, incentive-based adoption of digesters and alternative manure management programs,” said Charles “Chuck” Ahlem, a California dairy farmer and director for three of the hosting organizations. “This effort is one of several important commitments and ongoing investments in developing planet-smart dairy farm practices. The summit helps us share the story of our progress, while seeking support from private and public partners that will allow us to meet the challenges ahead.”
As United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in his recent address at COP26, “there is no one-size-fits-all approach to climate crisis and the challenges that we face in agriculture.” The Summit will explore technologies and strategies to sustainably meet the nutritional needs of a growing population, while achieving reductions in methane and other greenhouse gas emissions, boosting energy efficiency, and generating clean, renewable energy. In addition to a focus on climate action, the three-day agenda will recognize the critical water scarcity challenges that farmers in California and other regions face, along with the potential to increase manure’s role in improving soil health.
The Summit is hosted by Dairy Cares, California Dairy Research Foundation, California Milk Advisory Board, California Dairy Quality Assurance Program, and the Dairy Council of California. The virtual format recognizes the tremendous collaboration and momentum occurring throughout the global dairy community. By connecting online, discussions can be both timely and inclusive to all stakeholders.
“The climate discussion isn’t new to California producers. We’ve been proactively working on reducing emissions for more than a decade and have a lot of learnings to share with one another and with the broader community as we continue to adopt solutions. We understand the importance of collaboration as climate change isn’t a fight just for one state or one nation,” said Josh Zonneveld, a third-generation dairy farmer and chairman of the California Milk Advisory Board. “By working together, we can ensure that our actions are truly sustainable—economically, socially and environmentally—so we can continue our important work of providing nutritious and affordable dairy foods.”
Consistent with past events, the third California Dairy Sustainability Summit will focus on bringing together dairy farmers and industry leaders, local, state, national, and international government officials, researchers, technology providers, and others, to promote the continued advancement of planet-smart, sustainable farming practices. Organizers will use an interactive platform to host approximately four hours of online educational sessions each day, including technology showcase sessions that highlight groundbreaking projects. Additionally, the program will offer a virtual expo hall, research poster session, and valuable networking opportunities.
California dairy farmers are among the most efficient producers of milk and dairy products, and they continue to take a leadership role in reducing climate emissions. In partnership with the state, dairy farmers are making progress toward an ambitious goal to reduce methane emissions by 40 percent by 2030. These efforts put the California dairy sector—the nation’s largest—on track to achieve climate neutrality in the near future. The virtual summit supports farmers in California and beyond by fostering important partnerships and advocating for dairy’s role in a healthy and sustainable food system.
More information about the event program and sponsor and exhibitor opportunities will be announced soon. To learn more or to subscribe for updates, visit www.cadairysummit.com
· Dairy Cares is a statewide coalition with a mission to ensure the long-term sustainability of California’s dairy farm families through strong environmental stewardship and responsible animal care.
· The California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF) is an independent non-profit organization that leads and delivers research and science-based programs towards a more innovative and sustainable California industry.
· For more than twenty years, the award-winning California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) has worked as a partnership between the dairy industry, academia, and others to provide science-based education and third-party certifications, promoting the health of consumers, the environment, and the health and welfare of dairy animals.
· The California Milk Advisory Board, an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s dairy farm families who lead the nation in sustainable dairy farming practices. With a vision to nourish the world with the wholesome goodness of Real California Milk, the CMAB’s programs focus on increasing demand for California’s sustainable dairy products in the state, across the U.S. and around the world.
· Funded by California's dairy farm families and local milk processors, Dairy Council of California partners with stakeholders, including educators, health professionals and communities, to elevate the health of children and families through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits.