Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative (MDVA), in partnership with The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Turkey Hill Dairy, was recently awarded $4 million to continue supporting our dairy farmers in South Central Pennsylvania with on-the-ground conservation practices through the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership (THCWP). Funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
“This RCPP grant solidifies that our supply chain-driven conservation model is a worthy endeavor for whole-farm sustainability,” said Lindsay Reames, Vice President, Sustainability & External Relations. “While our dairy farmers want to implement the most current conservation practices, oftentimes the math does not work out in our challenging marketplace. These dollars will be invested directly on the farm and provide measurable conservation results for the Chesapeake Bay watershed.” The grant enables the THCWP to continue providing technical and financial assistance to MDVA’s dairy farm families. Modeling tools used by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) predict that dairy farmers implementing conservation practices with this grant will reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment runoff to the Chesapeake Bay by 1,886,539 lbs/yr, 32,230 lbs/yr, and 13,075 tons/year.
To date, the THCWP has invested more than $4 million in conservation practices on 260 farms from public, private, and farmer resources. This includes:
- Cost-shared installation of 66 agricultural best management practices (BMPs) such as planting forested buffer strips, expanding manure storage capacity, and building heifer barns to reduce runoff.
- Covered 100% of the cost for 29 new farm-specific conservation plans
- Planted 645 trees (5 acres) on participating farms
- Received national recognition as the Outstanding Supply Chain Collaboration Award recipient from the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Alliance in 2020
Contact: Amanda Culp, Director of Communications & Member Relations