Dairy West has hired Marissa Watson as its first vice president of sustainability, a position that underscores the importance of sustainability within the dairy community and all of agriculture, according to CEO Karianne Fallow. Agriculture plays a key role in developing sustainable solutions for a climate-smart future, she said, and this new area of work for Dairy West demonstrates that leadership commitment.
Most recently the sustainability manager at University of Vermont Dining, Watson brings more than eight years of agriculture experience with a master's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Georgia.
"We are thrilled that someone of Marissa's caliber is joining our growing Dairy West team," Fallow said. "Dairy farmers, who are dedicated stewards of our land and animals, continue to make great strides toward reducing their carbon footprint, because we know the future of a healthy planet depends upon how we care for its resources. Marissa's expertise will accelerate our progress in that direction."
The U.S. dairy community has set a goal of being carbon neutral or better by 2050. Watson said to get there requires developing innovative solutions to achieve common goals across all sectors, including agriculture.
"I am very excited to join Dairy West in this important role," Watson said. "Having a planet-forward mindset isn't new to dairy farmers. Telling their stories, innovating on-farm management practices, and working with partners to showcase agriculture's place in environmental sustainability will help highlight the progress that is being made."
Established in 2017, Dairy West is a regional dairy promotion organization representing dairy farmers, processors, and supply chain partners in Idaho and Utah. Dairy West raises awareness of the importance of dairy farming, promotes the health and nutritional benefits of dairy foods, and encourages global demand for Utah, Idaho and Western U.S. dairy foods through coordinated marketing and communications efforts, nutrition counseling and research programs. Visit DairyWest.com and Unbottled.com for more information.