Photo of tractor. Funds awarded to maryland farmers for manure technologies

Funds Awarded to Maryland Farmers for Manure Technologies

Sustainable Chesapeake, alongside the Giant Clean Water Partnership, was today awarded $725,267 from the 2021 Maryland Department of Agriculture Animal Waste Technology Fund. The funding will allow Maryland dairy farmers to expand the adoption of high priority conservation practices through industry-led supply-chain sustainability initiatives.

The funding was jointly awarded to Sustainable Chesapeake, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative (MDVA), The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Giant Food, the latter three of whom make up the Giant Clean Water Partnership. The project, titled Industry-Led Innovations in Dairy Manure Management, will demonstrate the potential for manure injection and advanced solid separation technologies that allow farmers to improve nutrient use efficiency and avoid loss of valuable manure nutrients to critical waters draining within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Partnering with custom manure applicators Jones Agri Applications and Leyman Enterprise, the grant ensures that manure injection equipment is more accessible for the growing demand of Maryland farmers who are looking to transition from land applied manure. The work will take place on four strategically selected farms, inject manure over 2,000 acres of crop ground, and is expected to reduce annual edge-of-stream nitrogen and phosphorus loss by 25,592 lbs. and 1,017 lbs. respectively.

“Sustainable Chesapeake is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Giant Clean Water Partnership to help Maryland dairy farmers to expand the adoption of innovative technologies on farms in the region,” Sustainable Chesapeake Executive Director Kristen Hughes Evans said.

“The only way to improve the health of the Bay for the 18 million people who live, work, and play here, is to tackle the challenges together.” says Kate Fritz, CEO at the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. “This grant award brings together a team from different perspectives – ranging from the farmers that produce our food, to the stores that sell our food, to our shores of the Chesapeake Bay. With corporate partners from Giant and MDVA, and non-profit organizations like Sustainable Chesapeake and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay working alongside, the future of cleaner rivers and streams is indeed, clear.”

Together, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Giant Food, and MDVA are supporting local dairy farmers throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed with resources and incentives who supply them to meet environmental standards that support healthy waters and long-term financial success. This project capitalizes on existing, industry-led partnerships to accelerate on-farm conservation. Working to improve manure management for benefits both farm viability and water quality, ultimately leading to a more sustainable supply chain.

“We’re embracing strategic partnerships to get results-driven conservation practices implemented on member farms,” Lindsay Reames, Vice President for Sustainability & External Relations at MDVA said. “Our cooperative’s growing sustainability portfolio brings real investments to member farms. We thank the Maryland Department of Agriculture for making this grant so our Maryland-based producers can be a part of the solution for Chesapeake Bay pollution reduction goals.”

“Giant Food is committed to make a real and positive impact on local communities and our planet, and that includes being a leading voice for a healthier, sustainable food supply chain,” says Steven Jennings, Stakeholder Relations and Brand Lead for Health and Sustainability supporting Giant Food. “We want consumers to know that by purchasing milk at Giant Food, they’re helping us expand conservation adoption by Chesapeake Bay-based dairy farmers.”

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About Sustainable Chesapeake

Sustainable Chesapeake is an environmental non-profit that works to bring conservation outcomes that benefit both farmers and the Chesapeake Bay.  For more information, visit www.susches.org.

About the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

For the past 50 years, the Alliance has brought together communities, companies, and conservationists to improve lands and waters. We envision clean streams and rivers flowing through resilient landscapes, cared for by the people who live, work, and play in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The Alliance serves as the boots on the ground conservation partner that is able to leverage cost-share funding to assist farmers in adding environmental and economic benefits to their operations. Overall, improvements show significant improvements in water quality and climate based solutions for the long term.

About Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative

Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative is a community of dairy farm families passionate about cultivating dairy goodness and bottling fresh Maola brand milk and dairy products. Founded in 1920, the cooperative’s farmers produce three billion pounds of milk a year for consumers and manufacturers worldwide. Our dairy farm families take pride in creating dairy products people crave, operating with passion and integrity, responsibly caring for our resources and providing a rewarding livelihood for our farmers and employees. For more information about Maryland & Virginia, visit: www.mdvamilk.com

About Giant Food

This year, Giant Food is celebrating 85 years as a community grocery store. Since opening its first location on Georgia Ave. in Washington, DC in 1936, Giant has been an integral part of its customers’ lives and the communities it serves. Giant is committed to being a Better Neighbor and has designated four main giving pillars that address local Food Insecurity, Military Support, Pediatric Cancer Research and Social Equality. Giant is headquartered in Landover, Md. and operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia with approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 164 stores are 152 full-service pharmacies, 82 full-service PNC Banks and 24 Starbucks locations. Giant fits all the ways today’s busy customers want to shop – whether in store or online. With 147 Giant Pickup locations and Giant Delivery available to all market areas in DC, MD, VA and DE, customers have even more convenient options right at their fingertips to get the best product and prices, whenever and however they want. For more information on Giant, visit: www.giantfood.com.