DeSmog

Dairy Cares

Background

Dairy Cares is a 501(c)(6) trade association1Nonprofit Explorer: Dairy Cares,” ProPublica. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ah7El which describes its mission as to “improve education and public awareness regarding environmental issues of the dairy industry.”2Dairy Cares: Full text of “Full Filing” for fiscal year ending December 2020,” ProPublica. Archived October 12 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/vFQ9u Co-founded in 2001 by California Dairies, Inc, Dairy Cares members include California’s largest dairy and animal agriculture trade associations in California, as well as the state’s largest milk processing companies and cooperatives.3(Press release.) “California Dairies, Inc. Announces Launch of Farm-to-Consumer Sustainability Effort,” California Dairies Inc, June 30, 2021. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/MnRfP California’s $7.5 billion dairy industry produces nearly 20 percent of the nation’s milk,4California Department of Food and Agriculture Agricultural Statistics Review, 2020 -2021,” California Department of Food and Agriculture. Archived October 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2nGSV and Dairy Cares’ coalition wields significant power in California state politics.5Jeremy B. White. “Cow belches help drive California dairy industry lobbying blitz,” The Sacramento Bee. Archived November 12, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.is/Y2hbM 6Stacy Kim. “California Dairy Farmers are Saving Money—and Cutting Methane Emissions—By Feeding Cows Leftovers,” Inside Climate News, April 13, 2021. Archived June 14, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/SB3QT

The membership of Dairy Cares is comprised of:7About Dairy Cares,” Dairy Cares. Archived February 16, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/liiNC 

Stance on Climate Change

On a webpage titled “Climate Smart Dairy,” Dairy Cares writes that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has “sounded the alarm that additional warming is inevitable,” and that “countries must make ‘strong, rapid, and sustained’ reductions in carbon dioxide.”12Climate Smart Dairy,” Dairy Cares. Archived February 16, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/3dbQ4 The page acknowledges that “reducing methane is the best and fastest strategy for slowing global warming” and that “incentivizing further reductions in methane is critically important to staving off catastrophic impacts.”

The page also claims that “California is leading the way for dairy methane reduction,” and that the state’s dairy farms are “Helping Cool the Planet” and “creating clean, solar energy.”

“Planet Smart Dairy” & “Climate Smart Dairy” Messaging

Dairy Cares has been branding California dairy products as “planet smart dairy” or “climate smart dairy” since 2018.13For our 3rd panel of the day we will hear about Planet-Smart Dairy from @GHGGuru,” tweet by @DairyCares, November 27, 2018. Retrieved from twitter.com. Archived December 5, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/z8xaU 14CA’s strategy is reaffirmed by new research published in the Journal of Dairy Science,” tweet by @DairyCares, October 17, 2018. Retrieved from twitter.com. Archived December 5, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/MMW6R 

At the 2022 California Dairy Sustainability Summit, hosted by Dairy Cares, Michael Boccadoro, the organization’s executive director, gave a keynote address titled “Welcome to Planet-Smart Dairy.”15Virtual Event Agenda: April 12- 14, 2022,” California Dairy Sustainability Summit. Archived July 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.  

In his speech, Boccadoro said:16Overview of California Planet Smart Dairy,” video uploaded by user Dairy Cares, April 23, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/tO2ay 

“There are some who want you to believe that if we simply change our diets, we can address global warming. Simply not true. We cannot eat our way out of climate change…cows have unfortunately gotten a bad rap, particularly from those who think we should tell people what to eat, and more importantly, what they can’t.”

Boccadoro went on to discuss “biogas from dairy digesters” – a technology that traps methane from cows and converts it to a biomethane that utilities can burn for energy –  as a potential energy alternative to fossil fuels, saying: “And what if we could turn that captured natural gas into usable, renewable energies and displace the use of fossil fuels?” 

Boccadoro also mentioned a partnership between Dairy Cares and car manufacturer BMW:17(7:20.) “Overview of California Planet Smart Dairy,” video uploaded by user Dairy Cares, April 23, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/tO2ay  

“What if cows could power the ultimate EV driving machine? Yep, our dairy farm families are partnering with BMW, fueling cars on California highways with clean, renewable electricity.”

He left the audience with a statistic claiming that “cow gas is replacing 60 million gallons of diesel fuel each year.” 

During the conference, Boccadoro moderated a panel titled “Policies for Promoting Planet-Smart Dairy” with Dr. Frank Mitloehner, a professor at the University of California, Davis, as well as another with Sara Place of Elanco Animal Health titled “Achieving Climate Neutrality.” 

The California Cattle Council paid $25,000 to be a platinum sponsor18California Dairy Sustainability Summit,” Dairy Cares. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/L0zDD of the 2022 California Dairy Sustainability Summit.19Virtual Sponsor Prospects,” California Dairy Sustainability Summit, 2022. Archived February 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Gold sponsors included oil and gas company Chevron, the California branch of the American Farm Bureau Federation, and Cal BioEnergy, who each paid $12,000 to sponsor the event.20Virtual Sponsor Prospects,” California Dairy Sustainability Summit, 2022. Archived February 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. CalBioEnergy has partnered with Chevron to manage dairy digesters through the state of California.21CalBio and dairy farmers partner with Chevron on biomethane projects,” Bioenergy International, June 27, 2019. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/9jmRw  

Chevron, a gold sponsor of the summit,22California Dairy Sustainability Summit,” Dairy Cares. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/L0zDD has funded many California dairy digester projects that produce compressed natural gas. In a 2021 report, Chevron noted that it intended to increase its natural gas sales through these digesters:23Climate change resilience: advancing a lower carbon future [page 49],” Chevron, October 2021. Archived September 22, 2022. Archived .pdf available at DeSmog.

“Our primary focus is on lower lifecycle carbon intensity gas from dairy feedstocks with farms that have the scale and proximity to natural-gas pipelines to enable a commercial project. Chevron completes the value chain by getting the natural gas to customers…In renewable natural gas, we’re ahead of our plan to grow RNG production tenfold by 2025, and we intend to produce over 40 billion British thermal units (BTUs) per day by 2030.”

Messaging on Methane’s Global Warming Potential 

In 2020, UC Davis published a white paper titled “Methane, Cows, and Climate Change: California Dairy’s Path to Climate Neutrality.” The white paper’s authors were Dr. Frank Mitloehner and Dr. Ermias Kebreab, both professors at UC Davis, along with Michael Boccadoro of Dairy Cares. The authors wrote:24Frank Mitloehner, Ermias Kebrab, and Michael Boccadoro. “Methane, Cows, and Climate Change: California Dairy’s Path to Climate Neutrality,” CLEAR Center, University of California Davis, September 2020. Archived July 20, 2021. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“Biogenic methane from cows is part of a natural carbon cycle, where after about 12 years it is removed from the atmosphere…After about 12 years in the atmosphere, that methane is oxidized and converted into CO2. These carbon molecules are the same molecules that were consumed by cows in the form of plants. As part of the biogenic carbon cycle, the carbon originally utilized by the plant is returned to the atmosphere, contributing no net gain of CO2.”

The authors then concluded that “voluntary steps” such as installing dairy digesters “will allow the state’s dairy sector to achieve climate neutrality, and possibly global cooling effects, in the near future.” Methane emissions from dairy and livestock operations currently account for over half of California’s methane emissions, according to the California Air Resources Board.25Dairy and Livestock Greenhouse Gas Emissions Working Group,” California Air Resources Board. Archived April 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/RE4xa 

Positioning Biogas as a “Carbon Negative Fuel” 

Dairy Cares has often described the biogas supplied by dairy digesters as a “carbon negative fuel.” 

In 2017 comments sent to the California Public Utility Commission, Dairy Cares advocated for a pilot program requiring California gas utilities to install dairy digester projects and referred to the biomethane coming from these digesters as “negative carbon transportation fuel.”26Dairy Cares. “Comments Of Dairy Cares On Implementation Of Dairy Biomethane Pilot Projects To Demonstrate Interconnection To The Common Carrier Pipeline System In Compliance With Senate Bill 1383,” Public Utilities Commission of California, June 15, 2017. Archived October 12, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. While there is a project through California BioEnergy LLC and Bloom Energy to create renewable energy from a dairy digester without combustion,27CalBio and Bloom Energy to Generate Renewable Electricity From Dairy Waste,” Business Wire. Archived September 25, 2021. Archived URL: https://archive.ph/y8msQ the vast majority of California’s 91 dairy digesters create compressed natural gas, which is either burned to generate electricity28San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Notice of Authority to Construct ABEC Bidart Old RIver Anaerobic Digester,” San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Archived April 13, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.is/lQIU5 or used as transportation fuel.29Livestock Anaerobic Digester Database,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Archived October 10, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.is/yWlI1 65 of 91 digesters are classified as using biogas to create compressed natural gas; many of the remaining combust the biogas to create electricity directly.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, biomethane – also known as “renewable natural gas” – is chemically identical to fossil natural gas.30Alternative Fuels Data Center,” U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Archived September 1, 2022. Archive URL:  https://archive.ph/jzn9S While lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of biomethane are considered lower because it has been captured from cattle manure, biomethane releases the same levels of greenhouse gas emissions as natural gas from fossil sources when burned for energy.

The California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) scores the carbon intensity of sources of energy for the state’s transportation sector.31LCFS Pathway Certified Carbon Intensities,” California Air Resources Board. Archived January 13, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/c9aOZ Biomethane’s lifecycle emissions are the key to understanding how burning biomethane can be understood as “carbon negative fuel.” Because biomethane originates from captured methane emissions that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere from manure or wastewater, California considers biomethane to be removing those potential emissions from the atmosphere.32Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Guidance 19-06: Determining Carbon Intensity of Dairy and Swine Manure Biogas to Electricity Pathways,” California Air Resources Board. Archived May 6, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.is/jYPyL The LCFS gives compressed natural gas from biogas a negative carbon score, meaning that biogas is treated as a fuel that pulls greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, rather than one that adds emissions when burned. 

Critics of biomethane’s negative carbon intensity score under the LCFS state that biomethane production involves burning fossil fuels to heat the anaerobic digester and to upgrade biogas to usable natural gas.33Brent Newell. “Are the environmental protections for digesters enough?” California Air Resources Board Workshop: Methane, Dairies and Livestock, and Factory Farm Gas in California, March 29, 2022. Archived November 8, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Other critics have pointed out34Michael Sainato. “California subsidies for dairy cows’ biogas are a lose-lose, campaigners say,” The Guardian. Archived July 11, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/EWL7a that the LCFS treats natural gas from anaerobic digesters as 200 to 300 times less carbon intensive than electricity from wind or solar plants used to charge electric cars.35California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership.”RNG helps reach carbon negative milestone in California,” Biogas Magazine, 2020. Archived February 18, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/81Iay  

In 2022, the California Air Resources Board denied a petition by several environmental groups to remove dairy farms from the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, according to reporting by Grist. The environmental groups pointed out that the emissions reductions from dairy digesters were being double counted towards California’s climate goals, because they were being applied to both agriculture sector emissions reductions and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.36Jessica Fu. “Is California giving its methane digesters too much credit?Grist, May 19, 2022. Archived June 26, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/UHpB6 

Funding

Dairy Cares is funded by membership dues, event sponsorships, and research grants. It reported annual revenue of $690,868 in 2020, the last year that Form 990 information is available. 

As part of its “Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities” initiative, in September 2022 Dairy Cares was awarded up to $85 million from the USDA for a joint project between the California Dairy Research Council, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California Milk Advisory Board, and UC Davis.37California Dairy Research Foundation Awarded $85 Million from USDA for Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Project,” California Dairy Research Foundation, September 19, 2022. Archived October 1, 2022.  Archive URL: https://archive.is/qgdya 

The project, titled “Partnering to Invest in and Build Markets for California’s Climate-Smart Dairy Producers,” will be conducted over the next five years. The California Farm Bureau Federation, California Dairies Inc, the National Milk Producers Foundation, and the Milk Producers Council are also supporting the project. 

The California Dairy Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) largely funded by the California Milk Advisory Board,38California Dairy Research Foundation,” CDRF. Archived October 5, 2022. Archive URL:  https://archive.ph/dIvWK which describes itself as “one of the largest agricultural marketing boards in the United States.”39About the CMAB,” The California Dairy Press Room & Resources. Archived March 31, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/pLtJZ The California Milk Advisory Board’s overarching goal is to promote the consumption of California dairy products.

990 Forms

Actions

2022

Dairy Cares has argued against California legislation that would target more aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030. An August 24 article in Agri-Pulse, an online agriculture newspaper, quoted Boccadero as saying, “California seems hell bent on passing the Inflation Acceleration Act. They have huge economic ramifications for not just the business community, but every resident in the state. And, frankly, the impacts will be hardest on the low-income Californians who can least afford it.”40Brad Hooker. “Bills to watch in the California Legislature’s final week,” Agri-Pulse, August 24, 2022. Archived October 14, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2jPqN

A 2021-22 research project titled “Optimum Dairy Methane Reduction Pathways” is being managed by Michael Boccadaro of Dairy Cares and Gladstein Neandross & Associates.41Optimum Dairy Methane Reduction Pathways,” California Dairy Research Foundation. Archived January 27, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.is/OLehM The researchers are UC Davis professors Ermias Kebreab, Frank Mitloehner, and Daniel Sumner. According to the project proposal’s objective statement, the research is intended “to document the progress to date for voluntary, incentive-based approaches to dairy methane reduction, with a focus on California.” 

The project proposal’s anticipated “industry benefit(s)” include: “Maintain voluntary incentive-based approaches; better respond to environmental justice criticisms; encourage continued dairy methane reduction funding; maximize carbon reductions in the dairy supply chain and establish California dairy as a world leader in planet-smart dairy.”

2017-2018 

Support for Natural Gas Market Incentives in California 

In the wake of SB 1383’s passage in 2016, in February 2017 Boccadoro outlined a plan for the dairy industry to influence California’s methane reduction strategy.42Michael Boccadoro. “Opportunities and Challenges for reducing methane from manure management at California Dairies,” Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, February 2017. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/tBDfj Boccadoro called for the CARB to create a working group composed of industry and government leaders. 

In May 2017, the Dairy and Livestock Greenhouse Gas Reductions Working Group convened to create a strategy for meeting California’s climate targets under SB 1383.

Boccadoro co-chaired “Subgroup 2: Fostering Markets for Digester Projects,” which was tasked with issuing recommendations to the working group.43Recommendations to the State of California’s Dairy and Livestock Greenhouse Gas Reduction Working Group,” California Air Resources Board, November 26, 2018. Archived October 10, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/em9tN   

J. P. Cativiela of Dairy Cares also chaired a subgroup tasked with issuing recommendations to foster markets for non-digester projects. 

Along with representatives of SoCalGas, California Dairy Campaign, PG & E, the Low Carbon Fuels Coalition, and other natural gas stakeholders, Boccadero recommended that California increase demand for “renewable natural gas” in order to allow the digester market to thrive:44Recommendations to the State of California’s Dairy and Livestock Greenhouse Gas Reduction Working Group,” California Air Resources Board, November 26, 2018. Archived October 10, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/em9tN

“Renewable natural gas markets in California are approaching saturation. In order to further increase utilization and foster the capture of dairy manure emissions and conversion into fuel in the near term, more demand is needed.”

Boccadero’s working group then recommended that the state abandon a proposed rule that all new transit buses be zero emission electric vehicles by 2040:  

“The State is pursuing policies that are depressing natural demand in transportation markets. For example, CARB is considering a 100 percent zero-emission procurement requirement for transit bus purchases that, if approved, would reduce the current demand for renewable natural gas from natural gas buses.”

Environmental groups including Earthjustice criticized the recommendation to increase natural gas demand as out of step with California’s climate goals, and Food and Water Watch also raised concerns that developing dairy digesters which produce compressed natural gas further entrenches the fossil fuel industry in California.45Grace van Deelen and Emma Foehringer Merchant. “Just Two Development Companies Drive One of California’s Most Controversial Climate Programs: Manure Digesters,” Inside Climate News, September 20, 2022. Archived October 3, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.is/aBWPU The rule went into effect.46California transitioning to all-electric public bus fleet by 2040,” California Air Resources Board. Archived February 2, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/Q4ldZ

2016

Opposition to the ‘Short Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy’ 

Despite a decade of pushback from the dairy industry, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed mandatory methane reductions into law with SB 1383.47Stacy Kim. “California Dairy Farmers are Saving Money—and Cutting Methane Emissions—By Feeding Cows Leftovers,” Inside Climate News, April 13, 2021. Archived June 14, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/SB3QT The law required dairy farms to reduce methane emissions by 40 percent of 2013 levels by 2030. Dairy Cares had opposed the rule, saying that the industry could reduce its emissions via voluntary actions, especially by implementing dairy digesters.48Georgina Gustin. “In California’s Methane-Reduction Crosshairs, Dairy Industry Faces Regulation for the First Time,” Inside Climate News, October 25, 2016. Archived September 15, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.is/aypTI 

In a newsletter written by Dairy Cares and its partner,49Dairy Cares Newsletter: September 2016,” Dairy Cares. Archived October 12, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. the California Dairy Research Foundation, the groups noted that the bill had only passed after lobbying by dairy producers to change the methane reduction target from 75 percent – the reduction recommended by the CARB – to the 40 percent reduction featured in the final bill.50Proposed Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy,” California Air Resources Review Board, May 19, 2016. Archived October 12, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.  

Dairy Cares also reported in the newsletter that the industry had persuaded lawmakers to drop proposed regulations regarding enteric methane emissions on California dairy farms, until scientific findings emerged showing that dairy farmers could reduce these emissions without eliminating cows from their operations.51Dairy Cares Newsletter: September 2016,” Dairy Cares. Archived October 12, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.  

Despite these compromises by legislators in the final version of the law, Dairy Cares maintained its opposition to SB 1383:52Dairy Cares Newsletter: September 2016,” Dairy Cares. Archived October 12, 2022. Archived .pdf available on DeSmog.  

“Further reductions contemplated by state regulators, particularly on the aggressive schedule called for under SB 1383, will be far more costly and difficult to obtain for California’s dairy families. Equally important, the state’s targets for dairy manure methane emissions are not just the most ambitious in the nation, but the only such requirements being placed on dairy farmers anywhere in the world….As Governor Brown noted at last year’s Paris Climate-Change Conference, ‘Climate change is not limited to the borders of California’ and actions by California alone ‘won’t even make a dent.’ ARB needs to take note of the Governor’s point and work with, not against, California’s dairy farm families. Only then can California hope to set an example that other states and countries will seek to replicate.”

At the May 19, 2016 meeting of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Dairy Cares and its industry partners voiced their opposition to the proposed “Short Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy.”53Dairy Cares Newsletter, May 2016,” Dairy Cares. Archived February 21, 2023. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. At the meeting, Michael Boccadoro and J.P. Cativiela of Dairy Cares argued that the methane reduction proposals were so onerous that many dairy farms in California’s “low-carbon dairy industry,” as Dairy Cares described it, would be forced to relocate out of state. Dairy Cares also advocated for the state to spend significantly more money on digesters to capture methane emissions. 

Just three days before this meeting, Michael Boccadero had taken CARB members on a tour of California dairy farms that were building digesters to reduce methane emissions.54March 24, 2016,” Agricultural Council of California, March 24, 2016. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ho27q 

2006  

In 2006, the year that the agriculture sector’s exemption from California pollution control rules expired, Richard Cotta and J.P. Cativiela of Dairy Cares voiced support for California’s Rule 4570.55Action Summary Minutes: San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District Governing Board  Meeting,” San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, June 15, 2006. Archived October 12, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. This rule allowed dairy farmers to pick 19 emissions reductions measures out of 69 options in order to be in compliance with air pollution controls.56Ian Hamilton And Sarah Ruby. “Dairy pollution cleanup rules get sour review,” Bakersfield Californian, June 16, 2006. Archived January 21, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.is/THeT2 Environmentalists criticized Rule 4570 as a giveaway to the dairy industry. Earthjustice lawyer Paul Cort told the Fresno Bee that state law required the most effective measures to cut pollution. Since Rule 4570 allowed dairy farmers to pick among different emissions reductions measures with varying levels of effectiveness, including measures that were already widely implemented, Cort described it as an “empty gesture.”57Mark Grossi. “Dairy pollution rule passes; lawyer calls it an ’empty gesture’,” The Fresno Bee, June 16, 2006. Archived January 21, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Affiliations

The current members of Dairy Cares are:58About Dairy Cares,” Dairy Cares. Archived February 16, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/liiNC

  • Bar 20 Dairy Farms
  • California Cattlemen’s Association
  • California Dairies Inc.
  • California Dairy Campaign
  • California Dairy Research Foundation
  • California Farm Bureau Federation
  • Dairy Farmers of America-Western Area
  • Dairy Institute of California
  • F & R Ag Services
  • GHD, Inc.
  • Hilmar Cheese Co.
  • HP Hood, LLC
  • Kraft Foods
  • Joseph Gallo Farms
  • Land O’Lakes, Inc.
  • Merck Animal Health
  • Milk Producers Council
  • Ruan Transport Corp.
  • Valley Milk, LLC.
  • Yosemite Farm Credit
  • Zenith Insurance Company

Partnership with Dr. Frank Mitloehner 

Dairy Cares’ collaboration with Frank Mitloehner goes back to 2005, when Dairy Cares and other industry groups used Mitloehner’s research into cows’ volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions to argue for fewer pollution regulations.59Researcher Puts Cows in a Bubble to Measure Emissions,” Environmental News Network, July 28, 2005. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/pyLUs   

A 2006 UC Davis newsletter reported that Mitloehner was measuring emissions from cows with funding from Dairy Cares, the California Air Resources Board, and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.60Dairy Notes: Dairy and Air Quality – An Update,” University Of California Cooperative Extension, Kings County, November 2006. Archived October 4, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.is/aezUw   

Mitloehner’s curriculum vitae states that he received $300,000 from the CARB for a study on volatile organic compound emissions from dairies in 2006.61FRANK MITLOEHNER, PHD”. CLEAR Center, UC Davis, April 14, 2021. Archived July 1, 2022. Archived version on file at DeSmog.  

In a paper funded in part by the California Dairy Research Foundation, Mitloehner suggested that cows released significantly less of the VOCs that the San Joaquin Air Pollution District ascribed to them at that time.62Stephanie L. Shaw, Frank M. Mitloehner, Wendi Jackson, Edward J. DePeters, James G. Fadel, Peter H. Robinson, Rupert Holzinger, and Allen H. Goldstein. “Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Dairy Cows and Their Waste as Measured by Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2007. Archived Jan 3, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/d9cXz 

J.P. Cativiela, a director of Cogent Consulting + Communications and program coordinator for Dairy Cares, noted that Mitloehner’s results indicated that farmers required to reduce emissions faced few options. In an interview with the Associated Press, Cativiela asked, “Is this something that we really want to do, try to regulate a living thing?”63Researcher Puts Cows in a Bubble to Measure Emissions,” Environmental News Network, July 28, 2005. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/pyLUs

In a 2019 video series produced by Dairy Cares, Cows and Climate, Mitloehner states:64Frank Mitloehner. “Cows and Climate: Introduction,” uploaded by user Dairy Cares, August 21, 2019. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/T34m1

“Let me put greenhouse gasses in perspective. I speak throughout the world about the impact of livestock on climate because we often hear myths that livestock are the greatest myth, the greatest detriment to our climate worldwide. This global comparison has been falsely applied to the United States and that has really led to some far reaching consequences and consumer deception.”

Key People

Michael Boccadoro

Boccadoro has been the executive director of Dairy Cares since its founding in 2001.65Michael Boccadoro,” Dairy Cares. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/oIG51 He is also the executive director of the Agricultural Energy Consumers Association, which signed onto a 2022 letter from major animal agriculture industry groups such as the California Farm Bureau and the Milk Producers Council, to the California Air Resources Board (CARB).66Energy Ideas California et al. “Open Letter To Carb On Upcoming Climate Policy Regulations,” California Air Resources Board, Archived December 5, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/SV6W2 The letter asked the agency to both delay and reduce carbon emissions reduction mandates as well as tailpipe emissions rules. It also described California’s greenhouse gas emissions policies as “costly and harmful,” and “usually dictated by coastal affluent communities to the detriment of the rest of California’s communities struggling to make ends meet.” The letter noted that while “there is no question that the climate crisis is real,” the state’s emissions policies would drive businesses out of the state. Energy Ideas CA, a project of the Western States Petroleum Association, organized the letter. 

Michael Boccadoro also runs West Coast Advisors, a PR and lobbying firm, which lists organizations where Boccadoro is an executive director among its clients. These include Dairy Cares, the Agricultural Energy Consumers Association, and the California Creamery Operators Association.67Jennifer Bingham. “New Staff, Renewed Vision, and Plans for 2021,” California Creamery Operators Association, March 1, 2021. Archived January 24, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/SSz0Q The Agricultural Energy Consumers Association reported on its 2020 IRS Form 990 filing that it contracted out day-to day-activities to West Coast Advisors.682020 Form 990 for Agricultural Energy Consumers Association,” Cause IQ. Archived October 12, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Through West Coast Advisors, Boccadoro is a lobbyist registered with the California Secretary of State.69The Lobbying Directory, 2021 – 2022,” Secretary of State Dr. Shirley N. Weber, State of California. Archived July 3, 2022.

Richard Cotta 

Richard Cotta was the president of Dairy Cares from 2004 – 2011. He is a former CEO of California Dairies, Inc., and served on the University of California, Davis Dean’s Advisory Council.70Congressional Record — Extensions Of Remarks December 13, 2011: Honoring Richard L. Cotta,” Congressional Record, December 13, 2011. Archived October 12, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.is/vnK1d 

J.P. Cativiela 

J.P. Cativiela is the president of Cogent Consulting + Communications Inc, a public relations firm which specializes in agriculture. Cativiela was the program coordinator for Dairy Cares from 2001 – 2015. He still serves as a consultant to Dairy Cares, and is listed as the regulatory director of Dairy Cares on its website.71About Dairy Cares,” Dairy Cares. Archived December 6, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.is/liiNC Cativiela’s partner at Cogent Communications, James Garner, served as a board member to the Center for Food Integrity.72Meet the Cogent Team,” Cogent Consulting and Communications Inc. Archived January 26, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/RRkVo Cogent Consulting + Communications has worked closely with the American Farm Bureau Foundation,73Meet the Cogent Team,” Cogent Consulting and Communications Inc. Archived January 26, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/RRkVo the Milk Producers Council, and California Dairies Inc, all of which are members of Dairy Cares.74Our Clients,” Cogent Consulting and Communications Inc. Archived January 26, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/yCsnP 

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