High Plains Journal
The Global Food Traceability Center, Chicago, has started working on the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship project implementing precision ag tech to expand the participation of small grazing dairy farms in climate-smart commodities.
The $4.7 million project, which will enable small dairy producers to access climate-smart grazing technology and engage in a climate-smart marketplace for their products, is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities where the USDA will invest $3.1 billion into 141 projects.
DGA, a nonprofit organization that administers a federally registered Apprenticeship in managed grazing dairy production, is one of 71 projects selected for the USDA’s second pool of funding.
“Managed dairy grazing is a tremendous tool to help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional management practices, but we cannot address carbon emissions in the dairy industry without a better way to capture, measure, and share this information from one end of the supply chain to the other,” said Blake Harris, technical director of the Global Food Traceability Center. “By creating a dairy-focused traceability standard that captures GHG attributes and by working closely with DGA and its other partners on this project, we can help enable real environmental change in the dairy industry.”
The GFTC’s work on the DGA-led project will include mapping farm-generated climate attributes and critical product traceability data into a data standard that can be used by farm-stage operators, downstream supply chains, and supporting technology partners.
Part of the Institute of Food Technologists, the GFTC develops resources, tools, and training while offering customizable services to support industry, regulators, and NGOs in implementing end-to-end, event-based, interoperable traceability while also addressing supply chain challenges and creating opportunities.
Over the last year since the Food and Drug Administration announced the Traceability Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the GFTC has created a variety of educational tools to aid in compliance, including a series of commodity-specific videos, a white paper overview of the traceability rule, as well as a report for the FDA based on the 90 submissions from teams that participated in the FDA’s 2021 Low- or No-Cost Tech-Enabled Traceability Challenge. IFT also collaborated with the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology on an issue paper that was released last month, examining traceability fundamentals including the development and use of various technologies to enhance food safety, source transparency, and consumer confidence.
To learn more about the Global Food Traceability Center, visit ift.org/gftc .