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Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country, today announced a pair of changes to its sustainability team. Carrie Carroll has joined the cooperative as director of climate-smart, and Jamie Fisher has been promoted to senior project manager for the cooperative’s climate-smart project.
The moves mark the start of the cooperative’s $50 million grant project through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program. Edge is spearheading a multi-partner project aimed at expanding climate-smart markets across multiple states and establishing dairy and beet sugar as climate-smart commodities. Carroll will lead the project.
“I am thrilled for this next chapter,” said Carroll. “This project will help us work directly with farmers to reduce carbon impacts, improve water quality and build a more environmentally and financially sustainable food chain.”
Carroll most recently served as sustainability strategy leader for the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and has been with the institute in various roles since 2014. She brings extensive knowledge in national grant administration and management of partnerships and teams. She is a proud alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Washington where she received her master’s in public policy.
The cooperative is also promoting Jamie Fisher to senior project manager of climate-smart. In her new role, Fisher will lead the coordination and execution of all aspects of the project to ensure proper planning, coordination and completion. Fisher has been working with Edge as project manager, leading coordination with multiple farmer-led watershed conservation groups partnered with Edge’s sister organization, Farmers for Sustainable Food. FSF is a nonprofit organization of food system partners.
“I’m excited to take a bigger role with Edge’s sustainability work,” said Fisher. “It’s an honor to work alongside farmers to measure their impact and share the great work they do every day.”
Edge CEO Tim Trotter said the moves mark a breakthrough accomplishment for the cooperative.
“We are excited to officially begin our work in deploying our climate-smart program,” he said. “Both Carrie and Jamie are experienced, professional leaders sure to take our sustainability initiatives to new heights.”
Edge’s project will build off a first-of-its-kind Framework for Farm-Level Sustainability Projects, which helps farmers determine what climate-smart production practices are most effective for their farms and provides tools to document the environmental and financial effects. The framework, developed in partnership between Edge and FSF, is currently being applied in projects involving farmers and others in the dairy food supply chain across the Upper Midwest.
“Our farmers have been at the forefront of sustainability with innovative practices that build healthy soils, protect water quality and cut greenhouse gas emissions,” Trotter said. “Now, we have an opportunity to create a marketplace that rewards that leadership.”