An Overview of a USDA Coordinated Agricultural Project on Dairy Production Climate Change Mitigation

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The purpose of this presentation is to outline the components and products of a USDA coordinated agricultural project focusing on dairy production systems in the Great Lakes region.

What did we do?          

We have conducted research that includes measurement, modeling, and life cycle assessment for dairy production systems to improve sustainability at the farm level.  The largest component of this grant was an assessment of best management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This project also included developing outreach materials and programs for extension and educational purposes.

What have we learned?             

There are a number of strategies throughout the dairy production system that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  There is significant variability in climate, location, dairy system design among other aspects that require different management strategies in order to reduce the net impact of dairy systems to climate change.

Future Plans    

The project will be completed in the near future which includes finalizing modeling and life cycle assessments as well as extension and education materials. Beyond the project lifetime, future plans are to expand access to the models developed for expansion and use by other researchers. In addition, there are ongoing initiatives to educate stakeholders with the information produced from the project.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation        

Matt Ruark, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Corresponding author email

Additional information     


This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2013-68002-20525. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.