The National Milk Producers Federation and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies on Tuesday signed a joint memorandum of understanding at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to increase the groups' collaboration on watershed-level water quality projects.
The goal of the agreement is to encourage clean water agencies and nearby dairy farms to work together to improve both water quality and environmental benefits produced on dairy farms, NMPF said in a statement. The MOU strengthens ties between rural and urban sectors with a water quality focus.
According to NMPF, potential projects include building anaerobic digesters, buffer strips in fields and no-till planting practices.
Increased collaboration among the clean water and dairy sectors offers a host of mutually-beneficial and cost-effective opportunities to improve the environment, the groups said.
"It's more cost effective to produce water quality benefits upstream than downstream, which is why we're collaborating with others like NACWA who share the goal of encouraging best practices in order to maintain a quality water supply," Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, said in a statement.
The groups also will partner on legislator outreach, working to publicize benefits of the collaborative projects, and will leverage federal interest from Congress, via the Farm Bill and similar programs, to facilitate watershed-level partnerships and further develop anaerobic digestion capabilities nationwide, the statement said.