Tara Vander Dussen New Mexico Milkmaid
Tara is a dairy farmer and New Mexico native, growing up on her family dairy farm in Eastern New Mexico. Now Tara and her husband, Daniel, dairy farm along with their two young daughters. Tara has worked as an environmental scientist for the last 10 years on dairy farm projects throughout the Southwest. As a project manager, she assists her clients with state and federal regulatory compliance, water conservation, sustainable management practices, and analytical reports. She provides direction to producers on environmental concerns and permits. And as a certified NRCS technical service provider, Tara is able to assist producers with nutrient and irrigation management. Tara also serves as a Farmer Member on the Innovation Center for US Dairy's board, Dairy Sustainability Alliance. Tara’s passion is advocating for modern dairy farming by sharing her story about life on her family dairy through her blog, New Mexico Milkmaid, and her social media platforms. By using her voice, she hopes to change people’s perceptions of farmers and dairy farming. New Mexico Milkmaid now has a community of more than 50,000 followers. And she has had the opportunity to speak at national and global conferences about dairy sustainability including at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Committee on World Food Security and the Forbes AgTech Summit. Tara also serves as the President of United Dairy Women, a charity committed to providing local New Mexico children’s homes with the recommended three servings of dairy a day for the entire year. United Dairy Women has raised more than $1.3 million to further their causes. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Soil, Water, and Environmental Science from the University of Arizona with a focus on both Policy and Law and Soil Chemistry.