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Foremost Farms Joins Dairy Strong Alliance as Partner
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 12/20/2016

The Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance, which is a recently formed group who's mission is to ensure that all touchpoints in the production of dairy foods are continuously improving, has announced the addition of a new partner. The Baraboo-based Foremost Farms USA is the first dairy processor to join the effort. The cooperative will be instrumental in contributing data for the collective members and stakeholders.

The new alliance is a collaborative group representing all aspects of the dairy community, including farmers, processors, conservation groups vendors and others. Formed in August 2016, its goal is to show continuous improvements in animal care, environmental conservation, food safety and other practices.

"Our customers and their consumers ask questions every day about modern-day dairy farm and dairy plant practices," said Foremost Farms CEO Michael Doyle. "Farmers and processors are working to produce nutritious dairy products environmentally, socially and economically better. Tracing those continuous improvements on-farm and in our plants and amplifying the results with our customers will help us grow sustainable markets for milk."

Specifically, the DSSA focuses on establishing so-called 'milksheds' throughout Wisconsin, which are groups of farms working together with a dairy processor to measure their environmental footprint and track progress toward being more sustainable. By combining farm data with processor data, a more complete story can be relayed to customers about the overall sustainability of the state's dairy community.

"Foremost Farms has been recognized nationally for innovative processing techniques that save energy, water and reduce emissions," said Maria Woldt, the sustainability lead for the alliance and director of industry relations for the Dairy Business Association. "The cooperative has also already piloted an environmental stewardship program with a group of diverse farmer-members."

DBA and Foremost Farms, along with representatives from The Nature Conservancy, Yahara Pride Farms, Peninsula Pride Farms, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, American Society of Agronomy, and Wisconsin Farm Bureau are part of the working group charged with developing the program.

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