By Deanne Meyer, Ph.D., Livestock Waste Management Specialist, UC Davis, Department of Animal Science, UC ANR

Is your dairy certified in Environmental Stewardship?

If it is, you know the value of certification. The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) certifies dairies in environmental stewardship. Once certified, dairy owners have peace of mind that their facility is likely to remain in compliance with local, regional, and state environmental regulations. Certified facilities show their customers they care about the environment. Also, certified dairies receive a 50% reduction in water quality fees for up to 5 years as long as they remain compliant with manure management regulations and rules. Last year, each certified facility saved $338 to $9,014 depending on facility size. Certified dairies have a facility point person who participates in water quality education. For dairies in the San Joaquin Valley, there is additional air quality education. Educational classes are offered asynchronously (online). The point person works with a CDQAP evaluator to arrange the facility evaluation. Many producers prepare for their evaluation with their nutrient management consultant. The evaluation process is thorough and reviews annual reports and other documentation related to environmental requirements. The in-person component requires interaction between the evaluator and the facility point person to review manure management and air permit requirements.

If your dairy isn’t certified, act now to potentially be on this year’s list for reduced fees. You’ll want to start this process immediately, as it takes time.

If your dairy’s certification expires this year, you’ve received reminders for recertification. Act now to remain certified!

For more information on participating in our Environmental Stewardship Certification program, please contact