Innovation Center for US Dairy and USDA Extend MOU
This week, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Paul Rovey, a dairy farmer and board member of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, met on a California dairy farm to renew and extend a memorandum of understanding between USDA and the Center.
The pact extends and builds upon an MOU originally signed nearly a decade ago, in 2009. “These improvements will help producers diversify revenues and reduce utility expenses, while they strive to support their families and local communities by operating economically, environmentally sustainable dairy farms,” Perdue says. “The MOU hopefully will be a potential navigator to the Innovation Center and give a ‘green light’ to interact with our agencies and centralize our various research and voluntary conservation efforts to reach these goals.”
“This [extended] MOU allows the dairy industry to build on all the good work we have done for years with USDA,” says Rovey. “It allows our industry to have a voice and work within the structure where we can continue to make progress toward our shared goals and priorities.”
Previous and on-going efforts facilitated through the MOU include anaerobic digesters on farms, food waste reduction and the development of nutrient recovery technologies through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Innovation Center’s ‘Farm Smart’ project led to the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management Environmental Stewardship module. The module helps farmers identify opportunities for sustainable and cost saving improvements on their farms.