- Organic Valley is expanding its Carbon Insetting Program (OVCIP) with the support of a USDA Climate-Smart Commodities grant and partners like Stonyfield and Nancy’s Probiotic Foods.
- The program aims to lower on-farm emissions and sequester carbon through enhanced grazing and agroforestry practices.
- A recent study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison indicates that grazing methods can effectively lower carbon emissions.
- Organic Valley is Climate Week NYC’s exclusive food program partner, emphasizing farmers’ role in climate action.
In collaboration with over 15 technical partners, Organic Valley has launched an ambitious project to combat climate change by focusing on carbon sequestration and reducing on-farm emissions. Thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Climate-Smart Commodities grant, the Organic Valley Carbon Insetting Program (OVCIP) is set to double in size. The program has already garnered recognition, including three placements in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas program.
Stonyfield and Nancy’s Probiotic Foods are among the key supporters of the OVCIP. Britt Lundgren, Stonyfield’s senior director of sustainability and government affairs, highlighted the long-standing relationship between Stonyfield and Organic Valley, emphasizing their shared commitment to sustainability. Stonyfield plans to further support the carbon insetting program with additional funding.
Grazing for Lower Emissions
One of the primary focuses of the OVCIP is to help farmers expand grazing areas. According to a recent lifecycle analysis by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, grazing methods can significantly lower carbon emissions. While Organic Valley farms already employ grazing practices, the OVCIP aims to enhance the carbon-sequestering capabilities of these methods.
Agroforestry and Methane Reduction
In addition to grazing, the program will incentivize farmers to engage in agroforestry practices such as silvopasture, riparian forest buffers, windbreaks, hedgerows, and alley cropping. The program will also target methane reduction through enteric feed supplements and changes in manure management, including dry storage and composting.
Leading the Way in Sustainability
Nicole Rakobitsch, Organic Valley’s director of sustainability, emphasized the program’s groundbreaking approach: “The Carbon Insetting Program is not just about adapting to climate change; it’s about leading the way for the rest of the industry.”
Farmers as Climate Stewards
Organic Valley farmer Chris Wilson from Wisconsin shared his perspective: “With the Organic Valley Carbon Insetting Program, we can take our commitment to sustainable farming to the next level. We’re not just milking cows and growing crops — we’re working to build a healthier planet.”
Climate Week NYC Partnership
Organic Valley is also the exclusive food program partner for Climate Week NYC, giving the cooperative a platform to discuss its innovative carbon capture technology and the role of farmers in climate action.