Social Responsibility

Dairy Farm

The U.S. dairy supply chain operates in a highly regulated environment which covers both locally produced goods as well as imported products. The food safety and security framework is in place to ensure that consumers are protected from harmful products entering the supply chain. Beyond environmental stewardship, production areas of animal care, labor welfare and antibiotic use are key areas of interest. There is a growing need for higher level documentation and continuous improvement in these areas to bolster awareness of industry implementation of best practices and maintain confidence.

California dairy producers are known for being proactive and leading the country in their efforts to continue to provide safe and nutritious foods to the local and world-wide markets. As such, CDRF funds projects that address the important risk management issues of animal care (best practices and disease management), food safety (e.g. managing product residues) and biosecurity (prevention and preparation for a biosecurity event). The emphasis within this focus area is outreach to ensure on-farm risk awareness and adoption of best practices. CDRF continues to work through CDQAP and other appropriate projects to provide local support for programs such as the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program.

See below for current project details.

Tri-color Blackbirds

2020 - 2024 Protection, Restoration, and Enhancement of Tricolored Blackbird Habitat on Agricultural Lands

OBJECTIVE:Tricolored blackbirds are America’s most colonial land bird. They nest in very large groups and dairy forage crops provide an ideal location for the birds to build nests. This 5-year project aims to support research that will explore ways to draw tricolored blackbirds to non-dairy habitats or otherwise minimize financial losses to dairy farms.

Powder and measuring cup

2021 - 2023 Impacts of Milk Microbiota Composition on Whey Quality in California

OBJECTIVE: To identify sources of microbial contaminants in whey powder to determine whether milk is the main source of these contaminants, or if contamination occurs in transport, processing, or storage environments. Determine microbial genotypes consistent with increased survival in whey powder to identify control points that may be used to minimize microbial survival and contamination of whey powder produced in California.


2021 - 2025 Optimized Controls for Cooling California Dairy Cows

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this 5-year project is to save electricity and water though the development of a novel control algorithm for the fans and sprayers used to cool cows at commercial California dairies; to develop and test additional features, such as integration of weather forecasts to predict the amount of cooling needed for the day and to operate systems earlier if needed to decrease total water use and avoid heat stress during peak temperatures.


2023 - 2026 Composting as an Economical and Sustainable Emergency Animal Mortality Management Option

OBJECTIVE: The primary goal of the project is to measure or estimate what potential impacts, if any, occur to groundwater, surface water and air quality when proper carcass compost methodologies are implemented. A secondary goal of the project is to develop mitigation procedures and best management practices for poultry and livestock composting when rendering services have been disrupted or are otherwise unavailable. Test sites at various locations throughout California will be developed and monitored. Studies performed will include: 1) continuous, real-time temperature, salinity and moisture content of piles, 2) pathogen reduction during composting, 3) infiltration of nutrients into soil, 4) nutrient/heavy metal content of feedstock and finished compost, and 5) air quality emissions during the life-span of the compost piles.