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What is the DSSA

The Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance (DSSA) is a collaborative, industry supported 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 and driven primarily by the Dairy Business Association, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative and The Nature Conservancy.

The DSSA currently supports farmer-led watershed conservation initiatives around Wisconsin, with potential for growth in other states. These non-profit organizations work to foster innovation and shared learning among members to bring about continuous measurable improvements in areas such as water quality and soil health by exploring on-farm conservation strategies such as cover crops and low-disturbance manure injection.

Mutual goals of a farmer-led conservation group and the DSSA are met through the partnership. DSSA services provide the opportunity for the farmer-led group to achieve increased membership, revenue and community engagement.

Collaborating with the DSSA is intended to make more efficient use of time for farmers and group collaborators. Additionally, services provided help the group maintain a professional image and assist the group in realizing goals.

DSSA serves as an incubator and support system for the organizations. 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 add value and help in achieving their goals and amplifying their stories.

DSSA can also serve as a funding vehicle to help groups secure money for research projects or other initiatives.


Watch the DSSA introduction webinar:

 

 
Desired Outcomes

  • Foster environmental, economic and social stewardship
  • Ensure long-term viability of dairy farms and related businesses
  • Proactively align with company/customer demands
  • Demonstrate commitment to community
  • Show science-based outcomes
  • Build relationships with legislators to showcase improvements
  • Engage with community through positive discussion

Charter members

Farm groups: Calumet Co. Ag Stewardship Alliance, Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance, Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers, Peninsula Pride Farms, Western Wisconsin Conservation Council and Yahara Pride Farms

Farmer members: Brey Cycle Farm, Cottonwood Dairy, Crave Brothers Farm, Darlington Ridge Farms, Dutch Dairy, Jon-De Dairy, Kinnard Farms, Rosy-Lane Holstei

General members: Dairy Business Association, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Compeer Financial, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, GLC Minerals, Grande Cheese, Houston Engineering Inc., Schreiber Foods, Inc., The Nature Conservancy, Tilth Agronomy, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Associations

Collaborators:

  • American Society of Agronomy
  • Foremost Farms USA
  • Grassland Dairy Products
  • Innovation Center for US Dairy
  • KCoe Isom
  • Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey

Learn more about Charter Membership Options


A new resource is available

Producer-Led Group Roadmap: A guide to farmers and their partners in conservation on the road to success

This document is the result of a collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance (DSSA) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The intended audience for this roadmap is for groups that are either funded through the Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant (PLWPG) program at DATCP or for those groups that are currently functioning without funding from the program.

These farmer-led organizations foster innovation and shared learning among members to bring about continuous measurable improvements in areas such as water quality and soil health by exploring on-farm conservation practices.

This document guides groups through all of the necessary steps to be successful as a farmer-led watershed organization including setting goals, membership requirements, securing DATCP and outside funding, tracking outcomes, documenting progress, establishing communications, developing work plans and reporting.



DSSA supports farmer-led groups

 Calument County Ag Stewardship Alliance | Calumet County
CCASA is a nonprofit group of innovative farmers, committed community members and other professional partners dedicated to championing sustainable farming practices that protect water quality and build healthy soil.

 

 

Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance | Lafayette County 
The Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance (LASA) is a farmer-led, nonprofit organization committed to faithful and sustainable stewardship of our natural resources. Through innovation and collaboration, LASA identifies, shares and promotes conservation practices that demonstrate continuous improvement and preserve and enhance the quality of life in the community. View website.

 

 

Peninsula Pride Farms | Door and Kewaunee Counties
Peninsula Pride Farms (PPF) is a farmer-led, nonprofit group of local farmers. Their mission is to be caretakers of the environment, we are committed to protecting, nurturing and sustaining our precious soil, water and air. To foster environmental stewardship, we will promote practices with measurable outcomes that secure and enrich the future of our shared community. View website.

 

 

 

Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers | Sheboygan County
The Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers (SRPF) explore farming strategies that lead to greater farming efficiency, sustain profitability and lessen the impact on the environment. Members of the alliance share information gained through field trials with fellow farmers in the hope of increasing the sustainability of farming across the basin. Lastly, the group strives to foster an understanding of the role of agriculture in the community. View website.

 

 

Western Wisconsin Conversation Council | St. Croix County
The Western Wisconsin Conservation Council (WWCC) is a farmer-led, nonprofit group of local farmers dedicated to promoting water conservation, environmentally sound agricultural practices, and engagement with our communities. View website.

 


 

Yahara Pride Farms | Dane County
Yahara Pride Farms is a farmer-led, not-for-profit organization working to improve soil and water quality. We strive to help advance new ideas and technology that balance water quality improvement with farm sustainability and profitability. View website.


Contact Lauren with questions:

 

 

 

Lauren Brey
Director of strategic relationships and sustainability
(920) 883-0020 x107
Email

 

 


 

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