The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) Environmental Stewardship program is a partnership of the dairy industry, educators, and others working together toward the shared goal of helping California dairy producers to understand and comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations to ensure a healthful environment for the people, livestock, and wildlife of the State of California.
Signed on September 9, 1999, the Environmental Stewardship Partnership Agreement established a voluntary environmental stewardship education and certification program. Learn more about our 20-year history here.
CDQAP offers education courses that help producers understand environmental regulations, familiarize them with better management practice options, and supply detailed record-keeping tools for both regulatory purposes and for farm management. Courses in both water and air quality provide clear, concise information on regulatory requirements, example protocols, plan templates, and additional compliance tools.
CDQAP certification assists producers in regulatory compliance through a third-party, on-farm evaluation of their facility. Evaluations provide producers with real-time feedback on plan implementation and confidence in regulatory requirement fulfillment.
Click on a binder to view its contents.
CDQAP ES Certification
The CDQAP environmental certification program helps California dairy producers understand and meet federal, state and local requirements for water and air quality protection.
Environmental Stewardship Certification is a three-step program:
Step 1. Education – Dairy producers complete water quality and air quality education courses. CDQAP courses are led by UC Cooperative Extension and cover environmental issues of particular interest to dairy producers, including regulatory requirements, facility evaluation, better management practices, and management plan creation.
Step 2. Environmental Stewardship Farm Management Plans – Each dairy producer evaluates their specific farm conditions and prepares appropriate management plans tailored to their facility. Where applicable, plans required by regulatory agencies can be used to meet the CDQAP management plan requirement.
Step 3. On-site Independent Evaluations – Dairies that are managed by producers who have completed the education courses and created farm management plans may request an independent, third-party evaluation to assess their facility for compliance and implementation. A unified checklist is used to evaluate each facility’s compliance with all local, state, and federal environmental regulations. Dairy producers who successfully complete the evaluation become certified for environmental stewardship.
CDQAP certification is valid for a period of 5 years. Producers who have a change in owner/operator must be re-evaluated to maintain certification. Producers who have an illegal discharge from their property must report the discharge to the appropriate regulatory agencies (RWQCB, DHS, DF&G). Regulatory enforcement actions will result in de-certification.
CDQAP Partners include:
California Dairy Campaign, California Dairy Research Foundation, California Department of Fish and Game, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Manufacturing Milk Advisory Board, California Resources Agency, Milk Producers Council, Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Water Resources Control Board, Sustainable Conservation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, University of California/UC Cooperative Extension and Western United Dairymen.
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP RESOURCES:
Streaming Video Sampling Protocols:
AIR & WATER QUALITY WEBSITES:
Central Valley Dairy Waste and Nutrient Management Registration (Merced County tool)
FREE SOURCES FOR MAPS AND ARIAL PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPORT:
- FEMA Flood Zone Maps