Sustainability is a promise
renewed daily by dairy farmers
The past few years have been ones for the history books. Warm, dry winters produced record low snowpacks, resulting in one of the worst droughts ever in California. This historic drought reached every part of the state, affecting homes, businesses and farms alike.
Fortunately, California’s dairy farm families are resilient, productive and innovative. They conserve water. They use energy efficiently. They recycle resources. They consistently do more with less to protect our natural resources and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Despite the prolonged drought and its impact on all Californians, our dairy families continue their daily work to farm sustainably. This means caring for cows, protecting the environment and contributing to local communities. These actions over multiple generations have brought us to where we stand today: the leading dairy state, producing one-fifth of the total U.S. milk supply.
Ask any California dairy farmer and he will tell you that the cows come first. Rain or shine (or drought), the top priority on a dairy farm is making sure a cow has her basic daily needs met—access to fresh water, a balanced diet, comfortable housing and quality veterinary care.
Dairy farmers across the Golden State also continue their rich heritage of respect for the land, water and other precious natural resources that we all count on. Year in and year out, they are demonstrating that they can continually improve environmental stewardship while meeting the nutritional needs of a growing population.
At the heart of every dairy farm is family. Big or small, 99 percent of our state’s dairies are still family owned and operated. These families want you to know that while the look of the family farm has changed over time, the principles and values of the families on the farm have not.
So who better to tell their story than the family dairy farmers of California? In the next few pages, you’ll meet some of them and learn about their work toward a more sustainable California. Thank you for taking time to learn more about our families so that we can continue to serve yours.