portions of the story courtesy of Ohio’s Country Journal and US Dairy

(6-18-21) MVP Dairy, LLC was announced as a U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winner for their holistic approach to sustainability and commitment to achieving carbon neutrality. This national award honors exceptional dairy farms, dairy processors and others working to improve the well being of people, animals and the planet. 

About MVP Dairy, LLC, Celina, Ohio – The McCarty and VanTillburg families believe dairy is an environmental solution. Together, they created MVP Dairy, LLC – an Ohio dairy farm that’s laying the groundwork to achieve carbon neutrality and sharing their learnings along the way. Their holistic approach to sustainability focuses on manure management, soil health, biodiversity and animal welfare. MVP Dairy’s patented, municipal-style manure management system produces an estimated 60% less emissions than a traditional system and creates a water source to irrigate cropland. The dairy’s regenerative farming practices resulted in a reduction of 6,755 tons of CO₂e last year, which is equivalent to the average yearly energy use of 662 American homes. MVP Dairy also was able to sequester 1,842 tons of carbon and save 5,499 tons of soil from erosion, an equivalent to 344 dump trucks of soil. Through an extensive biodiversity program, the dairy is home to pollinator habitats, dedicated wetland areas, buffers, new trees and wildlife boxes. MVP Dairy’s innovative practices and top-notch animal care can be seen first-hand at their on-farm Dairy Learning Center, Inc., which offers farm tours and interactive displays.

Barbara O’Brien, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy

“Our 2021 winners put U.S. dairy’s great diversity on full display with farms and businesses of all sizes, from coast to coast, showing how dairy is an environmental solution.”

The Ohio dairy farm is owned by the McCarty and VanTillburg families, whose comprehensive approach to sustainability is rooted in everything they do — from soil health to manure management to animal care.

To conserve natural resources, the MVP Dairy team carefully manages regenerative farming practices that recharge the soil, promote biodiversity, sequester carbon and efficiently use natural resources. These practices have resulted in a reduction of 6,755 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent last year, which is comparable to the average yearly energy use of 662 American homes. MVP Dairy was also able to sequester 1,842 tons of carbon and save 5,499 tons of soil from erosion, an equivalent to 344 dump trucks of soil.

MVP Dairy also implements an extensive biodiversity program which includes pollinator habitats, dedicated wetland areas and buffers. The dairy farm is home to more than 20 wildlife boxes, including owl, bird, duck, insect and bat boxes, and has planted more than 700 trees on-site since it was built in 2019. 

Kyle VanTilburg

“We try to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of our dairy. Our family has been farming here for more than 100 years and we take a lot of pride in our community and preserving the land for generations to come.” 

 MVP Dairy’s innovative practices and top-notch animal care can be seen first-hand at their on-farm Dairy Learning Center, Inc, which offers public farm tours and interactive displays share milk’s journey from soil to yogurt cup. The center is a space that the local community can be proud of and helps the MVP team operate transparently.

The American Dairy Association Mideast nominated MVP Dairy for the award. 

Scott Higgins, CEO of the American Dairy Association Mideast

“The U.S. dairy community is committed to achieving carbon neutrality or better by 2050. MVP Dairy is leading by example and uncovering new practices and technologies in sustainability to benefit dairy farms across the country.” 

The awards are judged by an independent panel of dairy and conservation experts who consider innovation, scalability and replicability when evaluating nominations. Among the criteria to apply for the awards is participation and good standing in the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) animal care program and agreement to participate in the FARM Environmental Stewardship online tool for determining their greenhouse gas and energy footprint. Both initiatives are part of the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment, U.S. dairy’s social responsibility pledge to consumers, customers and other stakeholders.

Marilyn Hershey, Pennsylvania dairy farmer and chair of the Dairy Management Inc. board of directors

“This is dairy’s time to shine once again. These winners all provide the tangible evidence that our industry produces a nutritious product with great care and respect for our planet, animals and our natural resources.”