U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the USDA and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy to jointly promote and enhance environmental sustainability in the dairy industry. The pact extends and builds upon a MOU originally signed in 2009.
Secretary Perdue signed the MOU with Arizona dairy farmer Paul Rovey, chairman of Dairy Management Inc. and an Innovation Center board member, at DeGroot Dairies in Hanford, Calif.
“USDA and the Innovation Center will continue to work together to accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies and increase energy efficiency improvements on U.S. dairy farms,” Secretary Perdue said. “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.”
“USDA has resources that can help the dairy industry be successful but in many cases they are difficult to find because they are spread out through various agencies,” Secretary Perdue continued. “This 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 their goals.”
“Over the years, we have pursued creative and common-sense ways to work together that have allowed us to develop research, technologies, and on-the-ground practices that move us closer to our collective goals,” said Barb O’Brien, president of the Innovation Center. “The Innovation Center is proud of the synergy that has resulted from our collaboration with USDA, and we have no question that this public/private partnership works in the best interest of farmers, our dairy community and, most importantly, consumers of dairy who trust us to produce nutritious products they can feel good about feeding to their families.”