As a California dairy farmer, the land, air and water are part of my livelihood and caring for them is a priority every day of the year. My family has lived and farmed on this land for 118 years. You don’t get more connected to the community or land than that. Generations of Giacomazzi’s have taken tremendous pride in where we live and work. Why? Because dairy farming is a career and a way of life.
The current buildings on our farm were built in 1937, the same year the Golden Gate Bridge was completed, yet the equipment inside has been modernized. Over the past year I have been honored with awards by the University of California and the US EPA for work and research in developing sustainable ways to grow feed for cows that require less input in the field. We now use only three tractor passes for two annual crops versus the 14 passes it used to take. This reduces both diesel usage and emissions. We import much less synthetic fertilizer because we use cow manure, which is just as important as the milk our cows produce. We also recycle the water used on our farm an average of four times and have to meet the highest air quality standards in the country.
Because of efforts like these, California dairy has been paving the way in sustainability practices and I’m proud that California milk is one of the most sustainable food products you can buy. In fact, due to innovation and efficiencies, the overall “carbon footprint” of a glass of milk has shrunk by 63 percent over the past 65 years.
I was fortunate enough that my family took care of the land and sustained it for more than 100 years so I could return to the dairy. I have a responsibility to do the same for my son and future generations. I hope you’ll support me and other local dairy producers by celebrating Earth Day – today and every day – with a tall cold glass of Real California milk.