New incentive program has dollars for sustainable dairy farmers

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

Three large-scale organizations have joined forces in order to move Canada’s dairy industry even further into sustainable operations.

In a joint press conference that took place on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, Farm Credit Canada (FCC), the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC), and Lactanet, an organization that serves Canadian dairy farmers with tools, products and services necessary to help keep their herds healthy and successful, announced a new incentive program for Canadian dairy farmers that could see them receive up to $2,000 for meeting certain sustainability requirements. Farmers who meet these requirements and are FCC members can begin applying to receive the incentive payment through the FCC Sustainability Incentive Program beginning in September 2023. The collaboration was originally announced at the Dairy Farmers of Canada annual general meeting in Winnipeg in earlier this month.

According to a press release from FCC, the Dairy Farmers of Canada have set a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from on-farm dairy production by 2050. The release notes that Canadian dairy farmers have already set a global standard for emissions reductions, producing less than half the global average of greenhouse gas emissions.

Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, said in the press release that this program highlights the value of adopting sustainable practices across Canada’s dairy industry.

“Dairy farmers are integral to the success of the Canadian agriculture industry and looking after our animals and the environment has been foundational for generations,” Lampron said. “We appreciate FCC’s Sustainability Incentive Program, which bolsters our efforts to amplify the value of adopting sustainable practices on Canadian dairy farms.”

Dairy farmers who wish to apply for the incentive payment must meet criteria that will be a combination of herd sustainability metrics and environmental module results from the proAction quality assurance program developed by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. According to the release, farmers who use Lactanets to record their milk will be eligible to use results a recently-launched program called the Herd Sustainability Index, while those producers who do not use Lactanet will be able to qualify through similar metrics. Full details on qualifying for the incentive will be released this fall.

According to FCC president and CEO Justine Hendricks, the FCC will continue to look for partnerships with other Canadian sectors to support producers in sustainability.

“FCC is pleased to be growing its incentive program into the dairy sector with the support of Dairy Farmers of Canada,” Hendricks said.

“It’s through partnerships like this that we are able to support and recognize producers who use beneficial management practices to enhance the sustainability of their operations.”

For more information about Farm Credit Canada, as well as the programs and initiatives they support, visit their website at