June 29, 2016 - As an Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® Gold Level Sponsor, DeLaval recently presented at the prestigious 2017 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards ceremony in Chicago.
As part of the 2017 Dairy Sustainability Forum, the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards aim to recognize farms for their best-in-class sustainabile dairy efforts. These farms and partnerships were recognized for their social responsibility, economic viability and environmentally sound dairy production practices.
Two of the winning farms are large supporters of the DeLaval vision: to make sustainable food production possible. Rickreall Dairy of Rickreall, Oregon won an Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability award. Kellercrest Registered Holsteins Inc. of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, received an honor in the Outstanding Achievement in Resource Stewardship category.
Louie Kazemier, Rickreall Dairy, is known as a good neighbor. In fact, his relationships are the force behind his farm's frequent improvements. For example, when solids were building up in the manure lagoon, Louie initiated trade with a seed farmer to provide fertilizer in exchange for feed. He also collaborated with a local food processor to use their wastewater for irrigation. Kazemier depends on a whole-system approach to tend to what matters — and that turns out to be everything. The results are big: for one, most of the dairy's 25 employees have been there for more than 20 years.
The Keller family, Kellercrest Holsteins Inc., participated in the Pleasant Valley Watershed Project, a collaboration among state, local and national agencies to reduce the local watershed's phosphorous load. Results were dramatic and positive. In fact, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is expected to propose removing the Pleasant Valley branch from the EPA's list of sediment-impaired streams. Other farms that participated in the project saw economic benefits too, and this spurred them to form a group to build on the learnings. The Kellers, whose family has farmed the hills of Mount Horeb since the late 1840s, saw cost savings as well as environmental benefits.
A full description on all winners can be found here.