Since 1866, Breyers has been committed to using high-quality, sustainably sourced ingredients to create America’s favorite ice cream. Now, we not only use sustainably sourced ingredients, but we also support and invest in our farmers who practice sustainable farming.
Since 2020, Breyers has partnered with Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA), Barry Callebaut, and the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan (CMPM) to study and share the feasibility of cover crops on dairy operations through the Cover Crop Project1. Our goal is to invest in the future of farming and ensure our dairy farmers continue producing fresh Grade A milk and cream for generations to come.
Cover crops are typically grasses and beans planted by farmers in unused fields to improve soil health through crop rotation, reduce erosion with ground cover, control pests by interrupting their lifecycle and more2. Implementing cover crops into dairy farming operations is not always an easy task as it takes time and money away from core operations, like feeding and milking cows. Through the Cover Crop Project, Breyers, MMPA, Barry Callebaut and CMPM share the costs of planting cover crops with participating dairy farmers and, in exchange, the farmers monitor soil health metrics and share their experiences with other farmers to help spread the benefits of cover crops.
Breyers is proud to support the dairy farmers making important changes to practice sustainable farming and invest in the future of agriculture. Funds from the Cover Crop Project are used to reduce the on-farm cost of crop transition, provide technical assistance to help farmers identify the best cover crops for their farm, and improve access to expert advisors and fellow participants who can help share information farmer to farmer.
At Breyers, we look forward to the annual Cover Crop Field Day3, where participating dairy farmers get together to share how they are utilizing cover crops on their farms, the benefits they’ve experienced in the program, and tips related to sustainable farming operations like manure management, planting and harvesting methods. The practical application of cover crops in a dairy crop rotation is always a key topic of conversation so program sponsors, like Breyers, can learn how to encourage other dairy farms to adopt this sustainable practice.
- “Cover Crops Project.” Michigan Milk Producers Association. https://www.mimilk.com/membership/on-farm-partnership/cover-crops/
- “Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotations.” SARE Outreach, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, 2015. https://www.sare.org/resources/cover-crops/
- “MMPA members gather for Cover Crop Field Day.” Michigan Milk Producers Association, 2023. https://www.mimilk.com/mmpa-members-gather-for-cover-crop-field-day-2/