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Virtual workshop to focus on dairy sustainability

Virtual workshop to focus on dairy sustainability

Dairy producers and the industry are invited to the I-29 MOO University Virtual Winter Workshop in partnership with Midwest Dairy and state trade associations, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This workshop will focus on the Net Zero Initiative and what the impact will be for dairy producers. Attendees will gain knowledge through a hands-on virtual experience of how sustainability practices are being implemented on dairy farms and within dairy processing plants.

There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required by Jan. 11. To register or view the full agenda, click here, or visit the I-29 Moo University website.  A registration link can also be requested from Kim Clark at, Tracey Erickson at or Jennifer Bentley at

Topics Include:

Cover Crops: Cinnamon Ridge Farms – Donahue, Iowa. This fifth generation farm was awarded the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management for Dairy Farms. They work to assure their customers that the milk and beef produced meets very high standards for sustainability and animal care. They milk Jersey cows using robots, and raise beef cattle, pigs and chickens. They also produce corn, soybeans and winter wheat, while incorporating cover crops. Milk produced on the farm is processed into cheese on the farm.

Dairy Production Technology: Rosy-Lane Holsteins – Watertown, Wisconsin.  U.S. Dairy Sustainability 2020 Award Winner. Healthy cows and a healthy planet go hand-in-hand at Wisconsin’s Rosy-Lane Holsteins dairy. The emphasis on cow health started with incorporating cattle genetic technologies, breeding cows that live longer and are less susceptible to disease and illness. Genetics has helped the farm produce 1.7 pounds of milk for every 1 pound of feed for the milking herd. The average U.S. dairy attains 1.5. Their higher average equates to 70 more semi-tankers of milk/year using the same inputs.

Dairy Processing Technology: Leprino Foods, Greely, Colorado, is also a U.S. Dairy Sustainability 2020 Award Winner. This dairy plant exemplifies environmental sustainability with a replicable process that ensures no precious resource isn’t maximized. Built on an abandoned sugar-processing factory’s site, it relies on a combined heat and power system with electricity from two natural gas turbines — meeting about 75% of the plant’s power needs. The plant also employed technology that uses water from milk during the cheesemaking process to clean the facility, reducing the need for fresh water. Further, that recycled water goes through treatment that results in feedstock for the plant’s anaerobic digester — which in turn creates renewable biogas. This and more adds up to $4.5 million in estimated annual energy cost savings from onsite natural gas turbines after a five-year payback.

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