Key Take-A-Ways

  • Dairy Cares communication efforts included academic papers, e-newsletters, virtual conference sessions, and key messaging to media outlets. They focused on amplifying climate concerns, informing stakeholders of the most up-to-date science on methane emissions, and showcasing the California dairy industry’s leadership in fighting climate change. 
  • Dairy Cares co-hosted and led the second California Dairy Sustainability Summit in November 2020. The virtual event included over 60 speakers. It generated important conversations among dairy farmers, industry leaders, government officials, leading researchers, technology providers, and sustainable food, consumer, and nutrition experts.
  • Dairy Cares supported CDQAP in creating event flyers and a monthly e-newsletter.


To increase awareness and understanding of how California dairy farmers continue to improve environmental performance and are world leaders in the development of planet-smart, sustainable farming practices. and to support the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) communications.

Background, Findings, and Outcomes:

Since its formation in 2001, Dairy Cares has actively worked on behalf of California dairy farmers on issues related to sustainability, including environmental stewardship, responsible animal care, and community involvement. A vital component of the successes of Dairy Cares has been a strong communications program that informs opinion leaders and news media personnel about dairy farmers’ commitment to, and accomplishments in, sustainability.

Dairy Cares communication projects focused on climate concerns, working to correct the narrative about methane emissions, and showcasing the California dairy industry’s leadership in fighting climate change. These included in-person outreach, virtual meetings, e-newsletters, video conference sessions, and a co-authored scientific publication.

In-person outreach opportunities for opinion leaders to enhance awareness of dairy sustainability accomplishments and initiatives were limited to the beginning of 2020 because of the COVID-19 stay-at-home and social-distancing guidelines. However, Dairy Cares staff members remained busy with virtual presentations.

The Dairy Cares staff worked to maximize the use of aggregate data gathered from a variety of sources to craft positive messages to communicate about clean air and energy practices on California dairy farms. Staff members utilized multimedia and online media tools to engage target audiences with key messages. These tools included: a new scientific brief (white paper) co-authored by Dr. Ermias Kebreab, Dr. Frank Mitloehner, and Michael Boccadoro, discussing how methane impacts climate; the development and publication of a series of short videos to promote the California Dairy Sustainability Summit; a video featuring 11 dairy farmers to promote California’s leadership in planet-smart dairy farm practices; electronic distribution of 12 monthly newsletters; and creation of 22 videos as sessions for the virtual California Dairy Sustainability Summit, which were later made publicly available on the event’s website.

Dairy Cares continues to provide ongoing communications support to CDQAP by creating event flyers and the monthly e-newsletter creation.

See Dairy Cares’ newsletters, videos, and more here.

Dairy Cares receives contributions from industry stakeholders for environmental and animal-care communications; CDRF contributes on behalf of California dairy producers.