Industry commitment: Partners

Partnerships on life cycle assessment science, reporting and innovation projects have helped establish the dairy industry as a national leader in sustainable agriculture.

Creating a more sustainable future together

Strategic partnerships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), World Wildlife Fund® (WWF) and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) strengthen and broaden our sustainability efforts through the valuable expertise, perspectives and resources they provide.



Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES)

Organizational and international affiliations



Three years of progress infographic
  • In 2009, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Thomas P. Gallagher, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® and Dairy Management Inc.™, signed a memorandum of understanding. Through the document, USDA recognized the work of farmers and the industry.
  • The memorandum identifies projects to help the dairy industry achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goals and increase its financial and environmental sustainability.
  • Both organizations renewed their partnership on April 23, 2013. The partnership’s far-reaching goals will enable change, one operation at a time, to help the dairy industry achieve its sustainability goals.
  • Over the next three years, the Innovation Center and USDA will work together on science, technology and communication/outreach.


  • World Wildlife Fund® (WWF)  and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® share a commitment to creating a more sustainable dairy industry: environmentally, socially and economically.
  • The groundbreaking partnership helps build momentum and foster credibility within the U.S. dairy industry-led sustainability effort.
  • Building on the shared commitment to sustainability, WWF and the Innovation Center Sustainability Council have identified multiple areas for collaboration, including corporate and stakeholder engagement, framework development and using science to inform process.
  • WWF recently completed a short documentary series, Dairy’s Sustainability Journey, highlighting best practices of the 2013 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards winners.


  • The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES)  are working to develop a national research program focused on enhancing the economic viability of dairy farms and rural communities.
  • CAES is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy through the Idaho National Laboratory and Idaho’s public research universities, Boise State University, Idaho State University and the University of Idaho.
  • Through this collaborative structure, CAES combines its partners’ capabilities to execute energy research, promote education programs, conduct public policy analysis and facilitate technology-based economic development.

Organizational leadership and collaboration

  • The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® participates in initiatives focused on sustainable agriculture and dairy production through the following organizational and international affiliations:

    • Field to Market, the Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture
    • Global Reporting Initiative™ Organizational Stakeholder Program
    • International Dairy Federation
    • National Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture
    • Sustainable Agriculture Initiative
    • Sustainable Food Lab
    • The Sustainability Consortium®