Dairy Farming Sustainability

Happy Cows. Nourished Community. Healthy Planet.

Dairy farmers respect their role as stewards of the land and place a high value on sustainability. This awareness brings thoughtful attention to the cows, land, and water under their care. By 2050, the U.S. dairy industry has set a collective environmental stewardship goal to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality. We invite you to take a glimpse into a few of the practices that bring nutritious, sustainably produced milk to your table.

Due to innovative farming and feed production practices

the environmental impact of producing a gallon of milk in 2017 compared to 2007 resulted in


Less Water


Less Land


Less Greenhouse Gas Emissions

What does that look like? 

The equivalent of:

the amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere by half a million acres of U.S. forest

eliminating the average water consumption of approximately 29 million U.S. households

land savings of 100,000 NFL-sized football fields


is recycled up to six times on a dairy farm

In the refrigeration systems that cool the temperature of fresh milk after being collected

To clean cows’ udders after the milking process is completed

To flush out calf barns

To flush the lanes where cows stand while eating

In the manure lagoon which is used to fertilize crops

In methane digesters that use gas to produce energy

Dairy farmers take care to preserve the


Land erosion is greatly reduced through efforts to maintain soil health. Nourished soil helps retain and conserve water. Growing crops for cow feed on farmland not only cuts back on emissions from transporting feed in from an outside source, the acres of plants use carbon dioxide in the air, releasing oxygen in return.

Fun Fact

Satellite images have shown that during corn growing season, the Midwest shows more photosynthetic activity than anywhere on earth.


powers plants, soil, and everything else

Organic Fertilizer

Using all-natural and organic fertilizer produced every day by cows on the farm reduces the need for fossil fuel or unnatural fertilizers.

Plant Empowerer

Manure holds more moisture than regular soil, increases nutrient retention, and reduces soil erosion.

Powered by Poop

The computer or smart phone screen you’re using to read this right now could be powered partly by poop through the use of methane digesters.

on a mission of less


The U.S. dairy industry accounts for only about


of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Hay, don’t just take our word for it.

Milk is timeless but the dairy industry continues to use innovation and emerging technology to go green and stay at the forefront of sustainability. Watch this short feature on how dairy farmers go green.

FARM Environmental Stewardship

By participating in the FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) program, our producers have access to tools and resources to measure and improve their carbon and energy footprint.


Cow Power

Learn how methane from cows is turned into renewable energy.

No More Cows?

What would happen if America’s dairy farmers and cows went on vacation? The answer may surprise you.


The United Dairymen of Arizona Cooperative led the industry in developing a measurement and assessment tool used in the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment. Completely voluntary and open to all cooperatives and processors, this initiative is a promise to responsibly produce dairy products while also giving back to the community.

Incorporating more super tankers in their fleet has made milk transportation more efficient.

From 2014 to 2018:

emitted nearly 10% fewer GHG emissions from their fleet

drove 584,000 fewer miles

Used 134,000 fewer gallons of diesel to get milk from UDA members, to customers, and to their plant

Less vehicles to wash, conserves water

Approximately 32% of the total water used at UDA is recycled and reused in boilers, cooling towers, and washes

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