By Guest Blogger Joel Dahlgren

The dairy industry continues to move forward with its objectives of creating a sustainable future and of responding to concerns for green house gas emissions. On December 15, 2009, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Thomas Gallagher, CEO of Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy (Innovation Center) and Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) providing for coordination between the USDA and the Innovation Center.

The dairy industry launched a sustainability initiative in 2008. The initiative’s first priority is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions twenty five percent (25%) by the year 2020. Leaders from approximately eighty percent (80%) of the dairy chain – including farmers, cooperatives, processors and manufacturers – have endorsed this commitment.

The Memorandum of Understanding establishes a relationship reflecting the commitment of the USDA and the Innovation Center to create a sustainable future for the dairy industry. Two goals are recited in the Memorandum of Understanding. First, the parties will work toward reducing green gas emissions as described above. Second, the parties will accelerate and streamline the process for adopting anaerobic digesters by U.S. dairy producers through USDA programs.

Click here for the Innovation Center’s website.