WESTPHALIA, Mich. – Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) members gathered on Oct. 18 to learn more about cover crops from farmer panelists and Michigan State University (MSU) Extension experts.
Hosted at Jem-Lot Dairy in Westphalia, Michigan, the half-day program included a field tour, lunch and a farmer panel. Participants learned about seed selection for forage and conventional cover crops, manure management, planting and harvesting methods, and the practical application of cover crops in a dairy crop rotation.
“The MMPA Cover Crop Field Day showcased the sustainability efforts taking place on MMPA member farms and provided an educational opportunity to hear about each other’s experiences and lessons learned with cover crops,” MMPA Board Chairman Doug Chapin said.
Since 2020, MMPA has partnered with Barry Callebaut and Unilever’s brand Breyers in a Cover Crop Project to study and share the feasibility of cover crops on dairy operations. As an extension of the Cover Crop Project, the Cover Crop Field Day included a panel of MMPA members who have participated in the project.
“For MMPA’s customers, sustainability is driven by consumers and that comes back to our practices on the farm,” James Weber, MMPA member and Cover Crop Project participant, shared on the panel. “I’m enrolled in as many sustainability projects as possible, including the Cover Crop Project, because I want to be part of the solution and not the problem. Cover cropping isn’t the only solution, but it’s a large part of it.”
As reported in MMPA’s 2021 Cooperative Social Responsibility Report, 62% of MMPA farms utilize cover crops and the field day builds on MMPA’s sustainability mission to continually strive for a more sustainable future. For more information about the Cover Crop Field Day, Cover Crop Project and MMPA’s sustainability commitment, visit mimilk.com/cover-crops.
About Michigan Milk Producers Association
The Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) is a member-owned and operated milk marketing cooperative known for producing high-quality, award-winning dairy products. Established in 1916, MMPA is the 10th largest U.S. dairy farmer-owned cooperative serving members in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. At MMPA, commitment to milk quality begins on the farm and extends through all four of their processing facilities: a cheese plant in Indiana, a dairy product plant in Ohio, and two SQF Level 3 dairy ingredient plants in Michigan.