U.S. dairy is on a journey to leave a positive environmental footprint as it does its part to nourish people around the world for generations to come.

The U.S. dairy industry provides nutrition to the world as it reduces its environmental impact on the planet. Here are five facts that show U.S. dairy’s commitment to sustainability this World Milk Day (June 1).

1. U.S. dairy has committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, founded by America’s dairy farmers, has set aggressive environmental sustainability goals to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality, optimize water usage and improve water quality by 2050. That’s the vision: Dairy as an environmental solution. The video below outlines what’s in the works in more detail.

2. U.S. dairy has already reduced its carbon footprint by 63%.

The 9.45 million dairy cows in the U.S. is down considerably from the 25.6 million cows in the U.S. in 1944. That fact, combined with the ability to get more milk out of every cow, reduced the U.S. dairy industry’s carbon footprint 63% between 1944 and 2007, according to a study in the Journal of Animal Science.

3. The amazing U.S. dairy cow produces 29% more milk than it did 20 years ago.

The average U.S. cow now gives 29% more milk than it did 20 years ago. Dairy cows are multi-tasking wonders: producing nutritious food for people, enriching the soil for crops, and increasing energy efficiency for communities. Dairy farmers leverage the latest in technology and animal care to make their cows more efficient and comfortable while using fewer natural resources.

4. U.S. dairy’s greenhouse gas footprint is less than 2% of the U.S. total.

All food production comes with an environmental impact. Given how important dairy is to the American diet and economy, producing dairy has a relatively small greenhouse gas footprint. The industry is working hard to reduce it. There is always more to do. U.S. dairy farmers are determined to keep improving.

5. The U.S. economy is supported by more than 3 million dairy-generated jobs, providing environmental AND economic sustainability.

According to an economic impact report from the International Dairy Foods Association, the dairy industry in this country:

-Supports 3.3 million jobs.
-Generates nearly $42 billion in direct wages.
-Has an overall economic impact of $753 billion.

U.S. dairy exports multiply the economic benefits

For every dollar of dairy products exported to Mexico, $2.50 of economic impact returns to the U.S. economy, according to a study by Informa Economics commissioned by the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the National Milk Producers Federation.

These facts and more show dairy is more than just a glass of milk for the United States.

Dairy is an industry on a journey that leaves an increasingly positive environmental footprint, with quantifiable results, as it nourishes future generations around the world through dairy exports.

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