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Three IDFA Members Earn U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards

May 13, 2015

Hilmar Cheese Company, HP Hood LLC and Prairie Farms Dairy received recognition this week for their outstanding efforts in energy and water conservation, repurposing packaging for renewable fuel and providing affordable products to neighbors in need. Hilmar Cheese and HP Hood received U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and Prairie Farms earned an Honorable Mention.

The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards were launched in 2011 to recognize outstanding dairy farms, businesses and partnerships for socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally sound practices. Award recipients are chosen in four categories: outstanding dairy farm sustainability, outstanding dairy processing and manufacturing, outstanding achievement in resource stewardship and outstanding achievement in community partnerships.

There were 12 winners in 2015. 

Hilmar Cheese Company, Hilmar, Calif., received the Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability Award for its LEED Platinum® Certification and water conservation. With production numbers nearing two million pounds of cheese each day, Hilmar Cheese incorporates innovative technology to recover almost 100 percent of water from incoming milk, which is treated and later used for crop irrigation and landscaping. The Hilmar Cheese Company headquarters is the first U.S. dairy building to receive LEED Platinum® Certification, a standard established by the U.S. Green Building Council for environmentally sound design and construction. The facility uses solar energy and practices recycling every day. Read "Responsible water use and reclamation showcased by cheesemaker” for more details.

HP Hood LLC, Sacramento, Calif., earned the Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships for its work with CleanWorld, a technology company. The companies partnered in repurposing both packaging and product waste in a nearby biodigester to supply renewable fuel for Sacramento truck fleets and nutrient-dense liquid fertilizer for surrounding farms. Their Sacramento neighbors benefit from a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 3,276 metric tons and water use by 1.8 million gallons annually. For more details, read “Partners develop recipe for success.”

Prairie Farms Dairy, Geneva, Ill., received an honorable mention for Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships for its work with the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Recognizing the need for milk in food banks and the issues of safe transport and affordability, the companies overcame several obstacles to bring more than 194,000 gallons of milk to families through 34 food pantries in their “Milk 2 My Plate” program. Read “Simple solutions for the greater good” for details.  

 Other award winners and honorable mentions:

  • Dorrich Dairy, Glenwood, Minn. – Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award
  • Nobis Dairy Farms, St. Johns, Mich. – Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award
  • Oregon Dairy Farms, Lititz, Pa. – Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award
  • Alliance Dairies, Trenton, Fla. – Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability, Honorable Mention
  • Freund’s Farm, East Canaan, Conn. – Outstanding Achievement in Resource Stewardship Award
  • T-Bar Dairy and White Gold Dairy, Porterville, Calif. – Outstanding Achievement in Resource Stewardship, Honorable Mention

More than 20 judges from all areas of the dairy industry, including Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO, joined in evaluating this year’s recipients.

ead more about each award winner here.

For more information about sustainability in the dairy industry, contact Emily Lyons, director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at

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