By Lauren Brey, director of strategic partnership and sustainability
The Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance (DSSA) is a collaborative, industry-backed effort to promote and support farmer-led solutions to today’s environmental challenges, taking into account business viability and community engagement.
The alliance was established in 2016, driven primarily by the Dairy Business Association, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative and The Nature Conservancy.
DSSA provides support for farmer-led conservation groups and helps connect individuals, organizations and companies that want to support their efforts.
Through the partnership of a farmer-led watershed conservation group with DSSA, mutual goals of the organizations can be achieved.
With services outlined in a memorandum of understanding, there is the opportunity for the farmer-led group to achieve increased membership, revenue and community engagement.
Collaborating with DSSA is intended to make more efficient use of time for both farmers and group collaborators. Additionally, services will help the group maintain a professional image and assist the group in realizing goals.
DSSA serves as an incubator and support system for farmer-led groups. The alliance offers various services that each group can choose from depending on its individual needs. Examples include administrative support, communications, strategic services and connections with experts. DSSA also serves as a conduit between the farmer organizations, experts and other entities that can help in achieving their goals and promoting their good work.
Additionally, DSSA can help groups secure money for research projects or other initiatives they may not otherwise have funding for.
DSSA supports the Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance, Peninsula Pride Farms, Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers, Western Wisconsin Conservation Council and Yahara Pride Farms.