ATHENS (October 25, 2019) – River Alliance of Wisconsin and The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) North America announced today that Miltrim Farms, Inc.—a large dairy farm in Marathon County—is the first farm in the nation to certify their on-site water stewardship practices using the International Water Stewardship Standard (“AWS Standard”). The AWS Standard has already been adopted by major industry players, including MillerCoors, but it had not previously been applied to individual farming operations in North America until now.
River Alliance of Wisconsin’s innovative Clear Water Farms program guides agricultural production and processing facilities through the AWS Standard implementation and certification process, which concludes with a third-party audit to assess conformity. Through this effort, AWS and River Alliance of Wisconsin will develop a replicable approach for farms to reduce the amount of time and associated costs it takes to become certified on the AWS Standard.
Agricultural producers and processors, like other businesses, benefit from Clear Water Farms participation and AWS certification by gaining assurance that their operations meet all relevant regulatory standards.
Additional benefits of participation include:
“Miltrim Farms is thrilled to be the first farm to be AWS certified through the Clear Water Farms program. We want to see this become standard practice for the industry. One of our big goals is to lower our environmental footprint per cow, as well as focus on lowering our total energy consumption per cow. We want to invest in and care for the water, land and community around us. The Clear Water Farms program helps us meet these goals.” shared David Trimner, general manager at Miltrim Farms.
“Farms like Miltrim are leading the way to the solution to our water crisis. AWS certification through the Clear Water Farms Program shows producers how to cut costs, help the environment, and strengthen local communities,” stated Raj Shukla executive director, River Alliance of Wisconsin.
“Clear Water Farms is scaling up by recruiting additional farms and agricultural processors in critical Wisconsin watersheds,” said Michael Tiboris, Clear Water Farms Director at River Alliance of Wisconsin. “With more sites we will be able to measure both environmental and economic benefits, and really assess whether this model can work at a state or national level.”
“Miltrim is leading the way for farms across North America because what we learn in Marathon County, AWS will apply with its partners to other farms in the US, Canada and Mexico,” said Matt Howard, director for AWS North America. “This partnership with Miltrim and River Alliance of Wisconsin is a great demonstration that Wisconsin can be a leader on water quality improvement and farm community economic development nationally.”
More on Clear Water Farms:
About River Alliance of Wisconsin: Formed in 1993, River Alliance of Wisconsin is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that empowers people to protect and restore Wisconsin’s waters. The organization’s membership includes more than 1,500 individuals, businesses and local watershed groups. For more information, visit: www.wisconsinrivers.org
About Alliance for Water Stewardship North America
The Alliance for Water Stewardship is an international, multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to enhancing water stewardship. With The Water Council as the official North American regional partner, AWS connects leading organizations in North America with each other and their counterparts from around the globe who are committed to advancing the responsible use of freshwater. As a result, AWS North America works collaboratively to develop North American water users and managers into world-class water stewards who protect and enhance freshwater resources for people and nature.
About The Water Council
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA next to the world’s largest freshwater system and home to one of the most influential freshwater technology hubs in the world, The Water Council (TWC) is recognized as a global center for advancing water technologies and stewardship. At its heart, TWC is a non-profit, membership organization that connects, convenes and showcases the hub comprised of more than 238 water technology businesses and the diverse water leadership network of 200 members it is linked to from around the world. While TWC’s mission is centered on driving economic development, attracting and connecting world-class talent and supporting water-focused technology innovation, its larger goal is to help secure freshwater resources for the world by driving solutions to the numerous industries that need and use a large amount of water.