Dairy and sugar unite for climate-smart success

Dairy farmers and sugarbeet growers in the Upper Midwest are partnering on a USDA initiative that will create new markets and establish dairy and sugar as climate-smart commodities.

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative is leading the $50 million Farmer-led Climate Smart Commodities Initiative: Building Success from the Ground Up.

CEO Tim Trotter tells Brownfield the project builds from the work done by the nonprofit Farmers for Sustainable Food.

“Now we have an on-ramp for farmers to really take their great data and monetize it hopefully,” he says.

Managing director of Farmers for Sustainable Food Lauren Brey says farmers will determine what practices are best for their farms, and track environmental and financial effects.

“Farmers are innovators, they find solutions, and this is really about a farm-level approach,” she says.

Brey says more details about how farmers can participate will be released in the coming weeks.

The project was one of 70 awarded this week under USDA’s new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program.

Brownfield’s Larry Lee interviewed both during the announcement in Wisconsin

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