Student Spotlight Lily Michelson '15

Lily Michelson ’15 spent her junior summer and senior fall traveling to the rural corners of Northern France and New England, interviewing dairy farmers and dairy industry representatives alike on their views of sustainability. This exciting global adventure, which spanned from standing atop a methane digester in Normandy, France to visiting the first organic dairy farm in the United States, is part of Lily’s senior honors thesis research, which examines understandings of sustainability along the supply chain of dairy and challenges how certain ideas of sustainability are either privileged or rejected along the supply chain. This research stems from the dairy industry’s recent global initiative to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of its products through the adoption of new tools and technologies that are supported by a scientific agenda. Drawing from theories of knowledge production, science, and technology, Lily’s thesis interrogates how different actors across the dairy supply chain—from multinational corporations to small family farmers—internalize sustainability vis-à-vis the growing industry pressure to reduce the overall carbon footprint of dairy.