Sept. 9 2019 03:44 PM

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy is accepting nominations that demonstrate resourceful leadership and positive impact

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which brings the dairy community together to advance a shared social responsibility platform, is accepting nominations for the ninth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards.

Founded by the dairy farmer checkoff, the Innovation Center launched the awards to honor exceptional dairy farms, businesses and partnerships for their socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally sound practices that have a broad impact.

Nominations are open through Nov. 15 and there is no fee to enter. All farms, companies and organizations involved in U.S. dairy and engaged in collaborative and sustainable dairy-related practices are eligible to submit nominations in the following categories:

Dairy Farm Sustainability

The Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability category recognizes farmers for practices that demonstrate exemplary economic, environmental and/or social benefits and continuous improvement in dairy production. Successful nominations take a holistic approach to sustainability and provide replicable results that can advance on-farm dairy leadership and inspire positive change industrywide.

Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability

The Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability category recognizes demonstrated steps to innovate, measure and communicate progress within the triple bottom line of sustainability. It provides replicable success stories to benefit the dairy community and to inform continuous improvement industrywide.

Community Impact

The Community Impact category commends efforts that improve lives and communities through positive impacts on health and wellness, hunger relief, workforce development, community volunteering and investment, and/or environmental stewardship. Successful nominations demonstrate how farms, cooperatives, processors or other dairy community stakeholders (either collaboratively or as a single entity) develop practical and effective solutions to shared challenges and goals of the communities in which they live and work.

Supply Chain Collaboration

The Supply Chain Collaboration category celebrates collaborative and market-based partnerships to demonstrate that truly sustainable outcomes involve and benefit the entire industry rather than any one customer or supplier. This award highlights customer engagement through a collaborative farm, cooperative, and/or processor partnership to benefit all involved and to provide best-in-class examples of sustainable dairy supply chains.

The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards have honored more than 70 farms, dairy companies and organizations in the past eight years. The 2020 winners will receive:

  • An expenses-paid trip to Chicago to attend the awards ceremony held during the 2020 Dairy Sustainability Forum in April
  • National and local recognition of their stories and passion for sustainability
  • A featured case study on to share insights and lessons learned with industry peers (see 2019 winners)
  • Opportunities to work with others in the dairy community to help advance sustainability

The awards are part of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s commitment to ensure a socially responsible and ever-improving dairy community and to help celebrate those who make sustainability a reality every day.

An independent panel of judges evaluates all nominations based on measurable results, demonstrated innovation and learning, and the potential for other dairy farms and businesses to adopt the practices.

Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® is a forum that brings together the dairy community to address the changing needs and expectations of consumers through a framework of shared best practices and accountability. Initiated in 2008 by dairy farmers, Innovation Center members collaborate on efforts that are important both to us and our valued customers – issues like animal care, food safety, nutrition and health, the environment and economics. The Innovation Center is committed to continuous improvement from farm to table, striving to provide the world responsibly produced dairy foods that nourish people, strengthen communities and foster a sustainable future.