Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today in Copenhagen an agreement with U.S. dairy producers to accelerate adoption of innovative manure-to-energy projects on American dairy farms. In a landmark memorandum of understanding (MOU), the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the industry-wide dairy group identified a variety of projects that can help the dairy industry achieve significant greenhouse gas reduction goals and increase its financial and environmental sustainability.
"This historic agreement, the first of its kind, will help us achieve the ambitious goal of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions while benefitting dairy farmers," said Vilsack. "Use of manure to electricity technology is a win for everyone because it provides an untapped source of income for famers, provides a source of renewable electricity, reduces our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, and provides a wealth of additional environmental benefits."
The agreement was signed by Vilsack and Thomas P. Gallagher, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). Under the agreement, USDA will take a number of steps to help farmers, including supporting a strategic research plan to help the industry further reduce environmental impacts. Other initiatives would help the industry develop future technologies, advance nutrient management, support renewable energy and improve energy efficiency.
"We are very pleased to be working with Secretary Vilsack and the entire USDA," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. "The additional cooperative efforts and assistance spelled out in this agreement will help the dairy industry move forward with its greenhouse gas reduction roadmap and further its role as a leader in sustainability."