Dairy Families Cite Dramatic Drop in Water Usage in Helping State Endure Record Water Shortfall

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Hard hit by the state’s record drought, California’s dairy families launched a public information campaign designed to highlight their continued investments in technology and innovation to dramatically reduce water use.

The campaign includes a multi-media effort with statewide radio and digital advertising, public relations effort and partnerships on public radio stations.

Led by the California Cattle Council, the campaign highlights the leadership of California dairy farmers in reducing water use year after year. Over the past 50 years, the amount of water used per unit of milk produced has decreased more than 88 percent, primarily due to improved feed crop production and water-use efficiency, reports the California Dairy Research Foundation.

“With our state facing a record drought, California’s dairy families are meeting the challenge of getting the most out of every drop of water,” says Cody Nicholson-Stratton, California Cattle Council Vice Chair and co-owner of Foggy Bottoms Boys dairy farm in Humboldt County. “We’re using recycled water to ensure sustainability, irrigating our farmland more efficiently, and using natural crop byproducts that require no water at all to feed our animals.”

Nicholson-Stratton says the campaign also stresses that California dairy farming families are leading the world in environmental sustainability.

Since 2013 California’s dairy farmers have led the world in reducing methane emissions. These voluntary efforts further California’s objective to reduce methane emissions from manure by 40% by 2030. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions per each unit of milk produced also has decreased more than 45 percent, due to increased milk production efficiency, including advancements in genetics, efficiency, nutrition, comfort, and adaption of best management practices he says.

In addition, a recent report by the Foundation noted that land use required to produce a unit of milk has been reduced by 89 percent.

“Our contributions to California’s climate goals are unrivaled throughout the world – as California offers the unique environment where dairy cows can help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Nicholson-Stratton.

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The California Cattle Council was established through a referendum conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture in 2019. It operates under a board comprised of 22 elected members with the vision of having all Californians value beef and dairy as beneficial and essential parts of the Golden State. Visit to learn more.

Immediate Release:
July 27, 2021

Steven Maviglio
(916) 607-8340