The Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership, comprised of Turkey Hill Dairy, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association continues to experience success in supporting farms with conservation practices.
The first of its kind in the region, the Partnership is building conservation into its supply chain. Turkey Hill requires all of its milk suppliers (180 in PA) to obtain and implement a conservation plan; the Alliance and MDVA cooperative support the farmers with implementation dollars from such sources as the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, NRCS, PENNVEST, and PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Turkey Hill is the largest dairy distributor in Lancaster County.
From 2017 - 2020, the Partnership has worked with 39 farms to plant 645 trees that filter runoff, create or update 29 conservation, nutrient and manure plans, and install 66 agricultural BMPs such as cover crops, stream fencing and improved manure storage facilities. The Partnership funds 75% of the costs associated with installing plans and 100% of the costs to develop the plans.
The Partnership estimates that $20 million is needed to meet today's conservation standards. It has served as a model and catalyst for other corporate partnerships.
For more information, see the attached related Bay Journal article.
SOURCE: BAY JOURNAL (November 2020); Chesapeake Bay Program (May 2021)
Also attached is a July 2022 report that documents the value of these investments to produce environmental benefits. Key findings include:
- Analysis of dairy farms in Pennsylvania, Lancaster County, and within the MDVA Cooperative validates Turkey Hills approach to incentivizing BMPs.
- While the scale of incentives cannot offset BMP costs, participation is a “stewardship signal” to technical service providers that facilitate access to funding that expands on-farm BMP implementation and associated nutrient reductions.
- Smaller farms, likely to have the greatest needs, are experiencing higher returns.
- The nutrient reduction benefits achieved also deliver co-benefits that improve environmental and community health