‘Cooperative and Farmers Launch Sustainability Program Enrollment’

Farmers in the Upper Midwest region have a new opportunity to participate in a climate-smart sustainability program that aims to revolutionize farming practices and add value to the food produced on their farms.

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative and Farmers for Sustainable Food have launched the Farmers for Sustainable Food Climate-Smart Project, which is now open for farmer enrollment. The program is the result of successful on-farm pilot testing and years of collaboration between the organizations to promote on-farm environmental sustainability and watershed conservation.

Funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, the program is based on FSF’s Framework for Farm-Level Sustainability Projects and offers financial incentives for participating farmers. According to Tim Trotter, CEO of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, the program is farmer-driven and provides a competitive advantage to farmers looking to enhance sustainability practices.

Farmers can enroll in the program through membership in Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, local farmer-led watershed groups participating in FSF, or through dairy processors or other organization-led projects. Financial compensation is based on the level of participation, ranging from ,500 to ,000 per year depending on the farmer’s involvement.

Lauren Brey, FSF’s managing director, emphasized that the program allows farmers to address their specific environmental concerns without mandating specific practices. Technical assistance from Houston Engineering Inc. is available to help farmers analyze and evaluate the impact of their sustainability efforts.

The program also focuses on integrating other supply chain entities, such as dairy processors, to create added value for commodities. FSF and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative will support farmers in sharing their outcomes with processors to maximize value downstream.

With an established membership and board of directors, FSF aims to ensure that farmers participating in the program receive tangible benefits throughout the supply chain. Farmers interested in enrolling can contact climate-smart@voiceofmilk.com, and an informational webinar will be held to provide more details about the program.

Overall, the program seeks to empower farmers to make informed decisions about sustainability practices and create a more sustainable future for agriculture in the region.