The Cornell PRO-DAIRY Dairy Environmental Systems (DES) program, works closely with members of our multidisciplinary team along with select New York State, US, and international dairy industry leaders to identify, develop, document, and introduce and disseminate innovative methods in dairy housing and waste management systems targeted to enhance animal performance, animal well-being, system efficiency, environmental compliance, and overall farm profitability. These efforts are accomplished with the overall vision of furthering individual farm and industry-wide growth and sustainability.
Program efforts are accomplished by conducting industry-applied research with the objective of furthering the understanding and development of dairy housing and waste management systems (with the current focus on anaerobic digestion) and by monitoring relative research and extension work performed by nation-wide and international counterparts. Findings are disseminated by conducting on-farm training and demonstrations of new technologies and by developing and delivering written, oral, and web-based materials. Additionally, expertise is provided through educational programs offered by county and regional Cornell Cooperative Extension employees and agri-service and agribusiness entities.
Overall, program initiatives have resulted in dairy producers and their advisors being better positioned to make informed business decisions in the areas of cow comfort/well-being, renewable energy, waste (nutrient) management/treatment, air emissions, and farm safety. Impact indicators are testimonials from dairy producers and their advisors and observed changes in business behavior.