Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Study Measures Environmental Impact of Dairy Cattle Breeds

I’ve heard this argument before, but it’s nice to see that it’s been verified in a study.
The argument goes that there are breeds of dairy cattle—in this case, Jerseys—that have less environmental impact on the planet. The thinking that was confirmed in the study was that because Jerseys are a smaller breed, they require less inputs, i.e., food and water, and produce less greenhouse gas emissions, all while producing nutrient-dense milk. The net effect is a great product made while using less of the earth’s resources and contributing less in the way of unwanted outputs. It’s a win-win-win situation.

I love this way of thinking and I hope that more dairy ranchers take it to heart. As stewards of our land, we have to consider the environmental impact of everything we do.

For the curious, Jersey cows make up the bulk of our dairy herd, with some other breeds rounding it out. We are in the process of crossbreeding in an attempt to lessen the environmental impact of our herd. We’ll let you know how it goes.