Responsible Farming

Building a legacy of great dairy depends on outstanding work ethic and a dedication to exceptional quality. And at Dairy Farmers of America, we set that bar high.

Our Gold Standard Dairy Program lays out a comprehensive set of standards to guide our farmers. The pride you see on each of their faces? It comes from producing dairy the right way — so you can feel good knowing that every product from DFA comes with a healthy helping of hard work and an obsession with caring for our land and animals.

Fulfilling our responsibility

Producing wholesome dairy goes beyond providing milk for consumers to enjoy. Our family farm-owners have a long-standing commitment to protecting our water, soil and natural habitats to improve their operations and the well-being of their herd. Here’s how we’re caring for our animals, our land and practicing responsible farming:

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Setting the bar with Gold Standard Dairy

Our Gold Standard Dairy Program is one of the first on-farm evaluation programs of its kind, focused on employing best practices in the areas of animal care and wellness, environmental stewardship, employee training and milk safety and quality.

Father and Son walking together on dirt road

Caring for the land leaves a
legacy for the future

Taking care of the land by operating in a sustainable manner is important to our business and to our farmers. It allows our farmers to continue to produce the freshest, highest-quality dairy for generations to come.

Learn more about sustainability

The Gold Standard Dairy Program assesses:

  • Producers’ manure management systems
  • Water and energy conservation measures
  • Pesticide and fertilizer usage and handling
  • Soil and water sampling programs, and more
Four farmers leaning on gate and smiling

We believe you should feel confident
in the safety and quality of your dairy

Through the Gold Standard Dairy Program, producers are assessed on on-farm practices that affect milk safety and quality.

Learn how milk goes from farm to fridge

Practices assessed are:

  • Milk testing
  • Milking procedures
  • Proper record keeping

Robust training creates a
successful farm community

The Gold Standard Dairy evaluation is our way of setting our farmers up for success, including how employees are trained.
Employees are trained on:
  • Animal care and handling
  • Milking
  • Employee safety, and more
Two men walking through group of cows on a farm

We invest in workforce development

We care deeply about the well-being of each of our farmers, and we know that peace-of-mind is an essential element of quality of life. To help provide stability and security, we guarantee our farmers a home for their milk, giving them one less thing to worry about. Additionally, we offer our farmers workers' compensation insurance to protect their business and employees if anyone gets injured. We also provide each of our farms with services like safety training and 24/7 on-call support. 

We are proud supporters of the following initiatives: 

  • Farm Worker Well-being Task Force
  • Dairy Multi-Stakeholder Initiative (DMSI)
  • Agricultural Safety & Health Council of America (ASHCA)
  • The National Milk Producers Federation, which is crafting the Workforce Development component of the FARM Program
Woman farmer petting calf on the farm

We believe in treating animals
with care and respect

Ensuring their animals receive exceptional care is our farmers' top priority. Not only is it the right thing to do, it's also the right thing to do as a business — because healthy, comfortable cows produce the highest-quality milk. That's why all of our farmers meet the guidelines of the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program, the animal care component of our Gold Standard Dairy Program.

Farmers are evaluated on:

  • Quality of animals’ feed, nutrition and housing
  • Calf care practices
  • Role of veterinarians, nutritionists and other herd health professionals on the operation
  • Care for sick animals, and more

We believe in producing only the highest quality dairy. That only happens when hard work, high standards and efficient procedures come together to ensure we're producing dairy with the most effective methods of responsible farming.