The farming industry has gotten a call-to-action from a dairy farmer in Oregon to engage in sustainable practices. “Every dairyman has to do this,” said Louie Kazemier, co-owner of Rickreall Dairy (via Capital Press). “We save money, it lowered costs of production, and it makes us more money…”
Rickreall Dairy recently won the national Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award for its measures that include:
- Partnering with a neighbor farm to send the dairy’s solid waste there as fertilizer for its crops, in exchange for feed;
- Collaborating with a local food processor to recycle water for irrigation;
- Allowing for transparency of its dairy by its open-door policy and by hosting guided tours;
- Working with 18 different government agencies and being inspected once a month.
The award is given for sustainable practices that include energy and water conservation, cow care, and nutrient management.
Water is a particularly important focus in terms of making the agricultural community more sustainable and profitable. Beer brewer Anheuser-Busch works closely with growers in the US and around the world by developing and sharing new barley varieties that improve quality and yields while using up to 40% less water. “More than 90% of our water use goes into growing barley and other agricultural inputs used in the brewing process. We believe collaboration is vital to sustainable outcomes,” the company’s VP of CSR and a Better World, Katja Zastrow, told Environmental Leader in July.