Livestock News

Sustainable Dairy PA initiative addresses Chesapeake Bay watershed

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The Hershey Company, Land O’Lakes Inc., and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay have partnered to implement on-farm best management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Initial funding for Sustainable Dairy PA comes from The Hershey Company’s $300,000 commitment to support the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Land O’Lakes in helping install agricultural conservation practices on Land O’Lakes member dairy farms. The partnership includes 119 Land O’Lakes member-owners in Central Pennsylvania that ship 50 percent or more of their milk supply to Hershey.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will utilize Hershey’s funds to leverage additional grant funding to implement conservation plans and innovative on-farm environmental practices. The solutions range from riparian buffer plantings that reduce stream bank erosion and improve habitat to animal waste storage systems and other sustainable farming practices to support a reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions and water pollution.

The initiative has begun working with dairy farmers in south-central Pennsylvania and is actively building a list of their conservation needs that will guide the program’s priorities. In addition to working with the initial 119 farms, the partnership has the potential to reach more than 400 Land O’Lakes member farms supplying milk to Hershey as funding and support grows.

The initiative recognizes that dairy producers are important players in helping improve water quality and mitigating climate change and was established to provide dairy farmers with the resources needed to improve their impact on the environment. This allows farmers to produce quality farm products while contributing to the health of the Bay, its tributaries, and the planet. The work seeks to demonstrate that conservation and economic profit are compatible, and high-quality milk produced on farms using clean water and climate-smart practices provides a value-added premium in the marketplace and addresses the growing demands of discerning consumers.

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