Dairy Cooperative Receives $25 Million in Climate Smart Funding
Dairy processor Organic Valley Cooperative received funds from the partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities announced last week by the Department of Agriculture. Bob Kirchoff, CEO of the Wisconsin-based cooperative, says the program included a $25 million award.
Kirchoff… “The emphasis on a basic level is that these funds can be used to further improve our farm and our regenerative practices in regards to climate in the environment. So, it's not limiting, it's got a broad reach of possibilities for a lot of our members, it'll be up to them to really look at the program and decide what could work really well for them. And then, we'll obviously be there as the funnel to guide them through that process and work with this money to make sure it's invested wisely, and we intend to spend all of it in all the right ways.”
Kirkoff said the effort is focused on supporting producers.
Kirchoff… “We’re really focusing on our producers. Being a dairy farmer these days, it's not easy. There's been a lot of challenges, there's inflationary pressures, the cost of feed for those that have to buy feet have just been gone through the roof. And really what we're focused on now is doing everything we can to not only maintain our members viability, but to improve their situations in these types of programs really help us with that.”
The pioneering cooperative is owned and guided by nearly 2,000 family farmers across 36 states.