Dairy Farmers’ Bright Ideas Are Helping The Planet

Dairy Cares’ latest video aims to recognize achievements made by the state’s family dairy farms. In line with the recent Earth Day celebration—and California’s ongoing efforts to fight climate change—the new video is focused on the “bright ideas” California’s dairy farmers are implementing to promote energy efficiency, conservation, and clean-energy.

Dairy farmers are partnering with local utility providers to conduct on-farm energy audits and implement changes. By utilizing incentive and rebate programs to invest in the latest, most-efficient technologies, they are changing the way they light barns and milking parlors, pump water, refrigerate milk, and keep cows comfortable. These efforts reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality by reducing the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation.

“For us, energy efficiency is a win-win-win for both dairymen and the state of California,” says Alicia Kilgore, Manager of Agriculture/Food Processing with Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Dairy farm conservation efforts are making a big difference. Individual farms have cut energy use up to 20%. By working with their utility providers, California dairy farms have saved or replaced more than 45 million kilowatt-hours of energy. That’s enough to supply electricity to more than 5,000 homes for a year.

In addition, more than 100 California dairy farms have installed solar energy systems. A growing number of dairy farms are also producing renewable energy via digester technologies. By increasing their energy efficiency and offsetting energy needs, dairy farms are helping Californiareduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

In the last ten years, utility rates for California dairy farms have increased more than 50 percent. By upgrading to more efficient equipment and using renewable energy, dairy farm families are helping to reduce their energy bills, while continuing their longstanding tradition of environmental stewardship.

As dairy farm families further reduce dairy’s carbon “hoofprint,” they are also helping protect air quality and climate—preserving natural resources for generations to come—while producing nutritious and affordable foods that support the health of millions of families.

Dairy Cares is a statewide coalition with a mission to ensure the long-term sustainability of California’s dairy farm families. For more information, visit DairyCares.com.

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