Bel Brands USA and Land O’Lakes Inc. say the first year of a three-year sustainable farm project resulted in a carbon sink of 784 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per acre.

Boadwine Dairy in South Dakota was the program’s pilot location; Land O’Lakes dairy farmer and milk supplier for Bel Brands Lynn Boadwine is the owner of the operation. The sustainable program focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improved soil health through farming and animal feed production.

“Our partnership with Land O’Lakes and dairy farmers exemplifies our unwavering commitment to sustainability,” Brian Zoon, director of milk sourcing and sustainability for Bel Brands, said in a press release. “We want to be the best possible partners to dairy farmers in their efforts to make the dairy industry more sustainable and conserve the planet’s resources across all areas of supply chain and all brands in the Bel Brands portfolio.”

The operation tracked its sustainable data, emissions, soil quality and erosion through the Truterra sustainability tool, a platform created by Land O’Lakes for farmers, agricultural retailers, food companies and conservation programs.  

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The companies plan to expand to five additional farms in 2022 ranging from 450 to 2,000 dairy cattle. The companies said the program will also begin a cooperative dedicated to sustainable feed production.

The projects are pieces in Bel Brands’ early 2022 commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one quarter through its entire value chain, between 2017 and 2035. Similarly, Land O’Lakes is calling on all its dairy farmers to complete an on-farm assessment evaluating sustainability by 2025.

 The pilot program and the companies’ future sustainability plans received the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy Outstanding Supply Chain Sustainability Award.

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