Why does FARM ES encourage the use of stratified random sampling?

Conducting FARM ES evaluations on all of a Participant’s farms may be impractical or cost prohibitive. Random sampling is a recognized approach by the GHG Protocol for addressing the challenges of Scope 3 data gathering (See the GHG Protocol: Technical Guidance for Scope 3 Reporting for more information: (https://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/standards/Scope3_Calculation_Guidance_0.pdf). The GHG Protocol maintains frameworks for measuring and managing GHG emissions. It is widely used for reporting to CDP.

FARM recommends using stratified random sampling to overcome that barrier while still getting an accurate estimate of Participant-wide GHG emissions intensity. The FARM ES Sampling Protocol stratifies farms based on milk volume and geography.

Is FARM ES free?

FARM ES is free for FARM Program Participants and dairy farms. The only cost comes in the form of staff time to conduct the FARM ES evaluation.

How often should FARM ES Evaluators be conducted?

FARM Participants may conduct FARM ES Evaluations at any frequency best suited to their organization and their B2B relationships. FARM recommends that Participants conduct evaluations at least as frequently as the FARM ES Version Cycle (i.e. every 3 years). In practice, if a FARM Participant is using the FARM ES sampling protocol to select a random sample of farms, FARM recommends they complete evaluations on those farms over the course of 3 years.

Who conducts FARM ES Evaluations?

FARM ES Evaluations are conducted by second party Evaluators. These individuals are employees or contractors of FARM Participants (dairy cooperatives and processors). Some FARM ES evaluators are 100% focused on FARM ES; others wear multiple hats, such as field technician or FARM Animal Care evaluator.

Who can use FARM ES?

FARM ES is open to any FARM Program Participant. Email dairyfarm@nmpf.org to request a Participation Form and additional instructions.

Individual dairy farms, whether associated with a FARM Program Participant or not, can conduct self-evaluations using the FARM ES tool. Email dairyfarm@nmpf.org for more information.

How does the FARM ES online calculator work?

FARM ES estimates farm-level greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy intensity. It uses a scientific, peer-reviewed model based on IPCC Tier 2 methods and life cycle assessment (LCA) research. Input data includes milk production records, herd data, rations, manure management, and energy use. The results are pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per pound of fat and protein corrected milk (FPCM). FPCM normalizes milk to the same scale, so that farms can track their results consistently even if milk output changes year to year. With each FARM ES evaluation, farmers and cooperatives can assess change over time, identify areas of operational improvement, and report best practices to corporate customers.