CDQAP Recognized at California Dairy Sustainability Summit

By Denise Mullinax, Assistant Director, CDQAP

The 20th anniversary of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) was marked with a milk toast at the inaugural California Dairy Sustainability Summit this past November 27-28. Highest ranking officials from state and local regulatory agencies joined dairy families, researchers, industry representatives, and the entire audience in raising champagne glasses filled with milk. The commemorative toast paid tribute to founding dairy families, partner organizations, and others who have worked collaboratively over the past 20 years to help dairy farmers make continuous improvements.

While the event allowed the California dairy industry to showcase its many achievements, it also provided tremendous opportunities for education and networking. Speakers discussed environmental challenges and the need for economically sustainable solutions. The CDQAP worked with cohost organizations to provide a wide variety of sessions. Dairy farmers talked about their own operations, sharing examples and asking questions. In one of the sessions, CDQAP’s Dr. Deanne Meyer guided a panel of three dairy farmers and one UC Extension researcher in a discussion of nutrient use efficiency, including strategies to improve profitability while meeting increasingly ambitious environmental standards.

Just as they did 20 years ago when CDQAP was started, dairy leaders continue to work collaboratively to seek solutions. These tremendous partnerships were on full display at the summit. While the industry currently faces many challenges, the sense of teamwork and dedication from all parties brought an uplifting feeling. Through general sessions, breakouts, the Expo Hall, and networking breaks, many voices shared knowledge, experience, and support. About 60 state officials were in the audience, along with 35 university faculty and students, and 200 dairy farmers. With technology and service providers and numerous industry representatives from throughout the state, nation, and even other countries, a total of more than 600 were in attendance.

The inaugural California Dairy Sustainability Summit was a true testament to the dedication, passion, and cooperative spirit of our dairy farm families. As the 20-year history of the CDQAP shows, dairy families have made great progress in continually raising the bar for environmental stewardship. Through ongoing collaboration, insightful vision, and commitment to innovative and research-based solutions, California dairy farmers will continue to lead the world in sustainable dairy farm practices.

CMAB’s Golden Seal Awarded to CDQAP!

By Dr. Michael Payne, UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine and Director, CDQAP

On December 5, the California Milk Advisory Board presented a Golden Seal Award to the CDQAP, recognizing 20 years of service. Presented to individuals and programs that have made significant contributions to the industry, the award has particular significance, coming from California’s dairy families. We thank each of our industry, regulatory, and academic partners for two decades of unwavering service, and we look forward to many more.