Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy announced a new partnership this week that seeks to harmonize on-farm sustainability metrics and drive greater collaboration between the two organizations. The collaboration will benefit crop producers, dairy farmers and the entire agricultural supply chain by creating a more consistent approach for measuring and advancing continuous improvement in the sustainability of dairy feed production.
“Stakeholders across the agricultural supply chain must work together to advance sustainable outcomes at the farm and landscape levels to address the collective environmental challenges we face and responsibly manage our planet's natural resources,” said Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market. “This partnership with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy builds upon our efforts to create a common framework to measure the sustainability of U.S. agriculture and creates impact together that is greater than the sum of its parts.”
In a memorandum of understanding signed last week, the Innovation Center and Field to Market agreed to:
- Harmonize metrics to assess the sustainability of feed production - to align metrics, both organizations will work together to identify opportunities for synchronization, coordination, piloting and development. By harmonizing approaches, this partnership intends to ease reporting requirements across industry and reduce duplication in efforts associated with the development and implementation of metrics to assess feed sustainability.
- Maximize the interoperability between tools - Both organizations will seek to maximize interoperability between Field to Market’s Fieldprint® Calculator and the Innovation Center’s Farm Smart™ tools. Both organizations will work together to analyze existing capabilities and infrastructure to identify opportunities for integration and piloting at the field level, providing greater efficiency and value to producers and reducing unnecessary duplication of efforts.
- Advance scientific research and communication - Where knowledge gaps exist that affect both dairy consumption and feed production, both organizations will collaborate on scientific research, product development and communication.
- Jointly convene the supply chain to tackle sustainability challenges - In November 2015, Field to Market and the Innovation Center will host a joint conference to explore common challenges across the supply chain and develop shared solutions to advance sustainable agriculture.
“Consumers, retailers and other stakeholders want to know where their food comes from and how it is produced. For dairy, that journey starts with where and how the feed for our cows is produced. By partnering with Field to Market on a common approach for measuring the sustainability of dairy feed, both dairy farmers and the supply chain will benefit from a coordinated, science-based approach to answering these questions,” said Barbara O’Brien, president of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.