To better understand how agriculture affects and is affected by climate change, the U.S. Department of Agriculture funds multiple projects related to food, fiber and fuel. The Sustainable Dairy project examines dairy production systems across the Great Lakes region of the United States and how the carbon footprint and environmental impact can be reduced without sacrificing productivity or profit.  

Typical dairy farming practices, from farms with 150 cows to those with 1,500 cows, can be explored on the Virtual Farm website.

People can explore the systems and components that make up modern dairy farms and learn how management practices impact sustainable production while addressing climate change challenges. Each system can be investigated at a variety of levels by hovering over a farm component with the mouse. 

By drilling down deeper and deeper into the knowledge base, the user will gain a better understanding of how farm operations work.

Educational bulletins and fact sheets are available under the Resources tab, providing materials for students, farmers and researchers to gains a better understanding of where in the cycle of producing a glass of milk greenhouse gases can be reduced, according to the website. 

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