Maryland & Virginia members are known across the industry as being progressive champions for sustainability. Our cooperative supports socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally sound dairy farm practices.
Our practices aim to promote the current and future health and well-being of our cows, our consumers, our communities, our employees, our farmers and our planet.
Since 2018, our cooperative has earned more than $7 million for sustainability on our member farms
Our member farms are family farms — they care for their herd, their land and their future for the next generation. Sustainability remains important to them in order to ensure that generations of their family can continue the legacy and bring dairy goodness to tables across our milkshed for decades to come.
Our Latest Successes
Regional Conservation Partnership Program
In May 2021, the National Reources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded $4 million to Maryland & Virginia and its partners at the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Turkey Hill Dairy for improvement and implementation of land management conservation measures on farms in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
The grant will help the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership (THCWP) to expand its goal of creating a supply-chain driven model for better water quality throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, which shares much of its area with the Maryland & Virginia milkshed.
Read more about the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership below.
Giant Clean Water Partnership Launch
The Giant Clean Water Partnership (GCWP) kicked off in late 2020. So far, we have held tree plantings on two member farms in Maryland in October 2020 and March 2021.
The plantings help create natural buffers between farmland and small creeks.
As part of its Giant Cares series, Giant Food visited one of the farms to see how small action miles upstream can make a huge difference.
Learn more about the partnership below.
Farmers Assuring Responsible Management
The FARM program is an initiative to help assure customers and consumers that dairy farmers are creating high-quality and nutritious milk in the most sustainable ways possible. The program covers three main areas of best practices for producers to implement: Animal Care, Environmental Stewardship and Workforce Development.
Together, with our partners at the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Giant Food, we are supporting our dairy farmers throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed to improve land and water quality through the Giant Clean Water Partnership (GCWP). The improvements don’t stop at our natural resources. The conservation practices funded through this partnership improve animal health, leading to higher quality dairy goodness, and ensures farm sustainability for generations to come.
The GCWP further solidifies our commitment to the region and positions our brand, Maola Milk, as the leading sustainable milk brand for families in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership (THCWP) kicked off in 2018 after a year of planning and coordination between the three partners: Maryland & Virginia, Turkey Hill Dairy and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.
The Partnership assists members in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed with sustainability goals and conservation plans. The support of our members comes from grant funding available to partnerships like the THCWP and allows them to implement best management practices and accompanying physical constructions or equipment.
Some of the projects already completed within the THCWP framework include modern housing for calves and heifers, waste management constructions to keep manure from waterways and implementation of land management plans.
In 2020, the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership earned the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s Outstanding Supply Chain Collaboration Award at the 2020 edition of the Center’s Sustainability Awards.
The award recognizes innovative projects and collaborative partnerships that have outstanding economic, environmental, and social benefits, and that serve as a replicable model to inform and inspire others in advancing dairy sustainability leadership.
The awarding of this honor is a testament to Maryland & Virginia’s commitment to the Net Zero Initiative that the dairy industry has adopted.
In 2020, we joined with cooperatives from across the country to begin working towards carbon neutral status for the entire dairy industry by 2050.
Through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, cooperatives will work with industry partners, customers and consumers to help reach these goals. The three focus areas of the Net Zero Initiative (NZI) are:
- Become carbon neutral or better by 2050
- Optimize water use while maximizing recycling
- Improve water quality by optimizing utilization of manure and nutrients
Maryland & Virginia supports the stewardship goals of the NZI and will work with industry partners to bring technology, resources and expert knowledge to our membership.