Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership Earns National Recognition for Conservation Efforts on Maryland & Virginia Member Farms

Reston, Virginia – The Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership (THCWP) has earned the Innovation Center for US Dairy’s 2020 Sustainability Award for Supply Chain Collaboration. 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.

Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative is honored that its teamwork with Turkey Hill Dairy and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has garnered national recognition.

“This is truly an exciting award,” said Lindsay Reames, Director of Sustainability and External Relations. “When we established this partnership, there wasn’t another model like it. It was the first of its kind.”

THCWP seeks out private funds to offset the costs of on-farm conservation practices, including the creation and updating of nutrient management plans. It also helps pay for on-farm conservation projects, like planting forested buffer strips, expanding manure storage capacity and building heifer barns to reduce runoff.

Since its inception in 2018, THCWP has secured over $2 million in grants from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support on-farm conservation efforts. They have also helped farmers utilize over $2 million in support from PENNVEST which provides low-interest loans and grants for non-point source pollution prevention best management practices.

To-date the THCWP has funded 42 conservation plans and committed $800,000 to implement on-farm conservation practices. Currently 96% of the farms supplying milk to Turkey Hill Dairy have an updated conservation plan or are in the process of receiving an updated plan. Through these efforts the Partnership has achieved pollutant load reductions totaling:

  • 421,327.5 lbs/year of nitrogen;
  • 7,198.3 lbs/year of phosphorus;
  • 2,920.9 tons/year of sediment.

“Now that we’re seeing tangible results on farms, the program has a lot of positive momentum and potential for replication. This national recognition will amplify our mission and we hope it will inspire others to pursue similar endeavors,” said Lindsay.

To Maryland & Virginia’s 150-plus members involved in the THCWP, thank you for your cooperation and for making the THCWP a shining example of collaboration worthy of national recognition.

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Contact: Lindsay Reames, 804-370-4324

Photos and Captions:
Truck48.jpg – Maryland & Virginia member Gary Truckenmiller (far right) and his son Alex of Watsontown, Pennsylvania look out over their new heifer facility that they were able to build thanks to financial support from the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership. The partnership provides both financial and technical assistance to dairy farmers that supply milk to Turkey Hill Dairy to help reduce pollutant load on the Chesapeake Bay and to improve the health of local waterways.

Frog24.jpg – Wea-Frog Holsteins in East Earl, Pennsylvania, needed to expand their manure storage capacity. Through the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership Wea-Frog was able to get financial assistance to make the construction of a new manure super slurry system a reality. According to partner Marvin Lee Zimmerman, “the added manure capacity means that our farm can continue to stay in business and that we can maybe someday pass the farm to the next generation.”

Landis14.jpg – The Landis family of Stevens, Pennsylvania is thrilled with how well their calves and heifers are growing in their new state-of-the-art housing. The new barns are more nutrient-management compliant because they have skid loader access to manage manure. The THCWP provided a portion of the funding that allowed the Landis family to erect new calf and heifer barns last year.