Sustainability

Sustainability and Prairie Farms

“As dairy producers, we understand how important it is that we do everything we can to care for the land in order to ensure it sustains future generations.”

–Ed Mullins, CEO, Prairie Farms

 What is sustainability?

At Prairie Farms, sustainability is a commitment to producing, processing and delivering dairy products in a manner that improves the state of our land, the lives of our employees, our animals, our communities, our partners and our consumers. Sustainability means reducing, reusing and recycling at every single stage of the production and distribution process.

According to the U.S. Congress, “the term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:

 

  • Satisfy human food and fiber needs;
  • Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
  • Sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
  • Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole."

Why is sustainability important?

This is our land and for centuries we have lived and worked it, and it has in turn repaid our diligence and stewardship. Today’s farmers are more sustainable than ever, but the work doesn’t stop there. We need to continue working hard to preserve the delicate balance between the Earth and our expanding world.

Is sustainability new?

Though sustainability is a growing concern among consumers, farmers have been working to do more with less year after year. In fact, today’s farmers are far more efficient than ever thanks to new technology and research. Farming is an ever-changing and evolving world, and you’ll find farmers are some of the most technologically advanced people around! From robotic milking and GPS to variable-rate application of nutrients and seed technology, agriculture is more efficient than ever.

What about corporate responsibility?

Just as our farmer-owners are a part of the communities they serve, so are our processing plants. That means in every step of the chain, from production to processing to delivery, Prairie Farms insists on achieving the best practices exceeding standards for safety and quality.

When moving our products from the farm to the plant, and from the plant to the store, we choose fuel-saving routes whenever possible. We also make sure our routes have cold-storage facilities nearby to ensure our dairy products stay as fresh as possible throughout their short journey from farm to table.

 

2017 Sustainability Efforts:
  • 674+ sustainability-related projects
  • 241 tons of resin saved
  • 82 million gallons of water saved through conservation efforts
  • 429+ BTu and over 2.5 million kilowatts through energy conservation efforts
Last year, Prairie Farms recycled more than:
  • 25,095 gallons of oil, enough to fill the tanks of 1,729 cars
  • 3 million tea bags, reducing land fill waste by 194 tons each month
  • 100 milion gallons of wastewater, enough to fill 1.25 million standard bathtubs
  • 3,975 5-gallon pails, saving 5.25 tons from landfills
  • 2,124 batteries, preventing toxic chemicals from leaching into soil
  • 2,897 tires, enough to equip 724 cars
  • 203,955 wooden pallets, saving 4,079 tons from landfills
  • 54 tons of office paper, saving 918 trees and 1,782 cubic yards of landfill space
  • 862 tons of plastic, saving 5 million kWh of energy, enough to power the average home for 458 years
  • 3,617 tons of cardboard, saving 1.4 million kWh of energy, which could power the average home for 128 years
  • 1,239 pounds of aluminum, equivalent to 8,680 kWh of energy
  • 11,906 plastic and metal drums, preventing the spread of toxic waste in landfills
  • 362 tons of other metals, saving a minimum of 56 percent of the energy needed for virgin ore

Along with helping the environment, our recycling efforts help create jobs. Recycling creates 100 jobs for every 13 jobs lost in the virgin materials and waste disposal industry.

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