Alliance Receives $400,000 for Two Innovative Conservation Projects
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Funds will provide cost-share dollars for dairy farmers and launch a new lawn conversion program
Lancaster, PA (October 10, 2019) The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Alliance) recently received two $200,000 grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support two separate conservation programs in the Mid-Atlantic region. The first grant will fund a cost-share program for dairy farmer members of Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative who farm within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This partnership will bring together the cooperative, Nestlé USA, and the Alliance. The second grant will support a lawn conversion program in Pennsylvania coordinated by the Alliance and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR).
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, Nestlé USA, and the Alliance are teaming up to work with six dairy farmers to review their Conservation Plans, Nutrient Management Plans and other Resource Management Plans. Together they will identify and fund conservation projects that will improve the environmental footprint of each farm and support the resource management of the individual dairy operations. Nestlé USA, which is part of the world’s largest food and beverage company, sources milk and dairy ingredients from Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative and is eager to start working with these farms and fund conservation projects.
According to Jack Scott, vice president of sustainability for Nestlé in the USA, “We are pleased to support and contribute to the work being done by the dairy farmer members of Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers as they continue to advance the areas of animal care, environmental stewardship, and workforce development. In today’s market where people are becoming more conscious of their food and the environment from which it comes, it is encouraging to see these farmers take this leadership role in continuous improvement. We look forward to seeing positive momentum and are happy to support such initiatives in our supply chains.”
The Alliance also received funds to start a lawn conversion program in partnership with the PA DCNR. Excessive turf grass cover contributes to pollution flowing into local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, and part of Pennsylvania’s plan for meeting its pollutant reduction goals under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load is to convert 10,000 acres of lawn to forest or meadow cover. Thanks to the award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Alliance and PA DCNR will launch a program in the Commonwealth that will help landowners convert their lawns to native plant communities. The partnership will create a Lawn Conversion Advisory Committee, generate outreach materials and technical guides, host trainings for other partners and professionals, and pilot 60 acres of conversions in priority counties (Adams, Franklin, Lancaster, and York) for Chesapeake Bay efforts.
This program will encourage all community members to get involved in improving our local lands and waters. PA DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn says, “Converting lawns to new forests or native meadows is a great way for homeowners, corporate campuses, and other owners of large turf-grass areas to do their part to contribute to restoration and conservation efforts. DCNR is proud to partner with the Alliance to launch a new lawn-conversion program in southcentral Pennsylvania as another step toward improving the commonwealth’s water quality, and ultimately the health of the Chesapeake Bay.”
Jenna Mitchell, the Alliance’s Pennsylvania State Director says, “The Alliance is thrilled to support Nestlé USA and DCNR in the development of these innovative initiatives. Nestlé USA’s support of their farmers is extremely admirable in the current dairy economy and DCNR’s continued leadership as a Pennsylvania state agency is highly commendable. Both projects possess significant potential for scaling and replication and the Alliance hopes that the ripple effects reach far and wide.”
These grants were awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, a partnership between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to help protect and restore the watershed’s natural resources, and reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.
About the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay:
The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Alliance) is a regional nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring together communities, companies, and conservationists to improve our lands and waters. The Alliance implements local programs that connect people to their local rivers and streams and become directly involved in local restoration efforts. The Alliance was founded in 1971 and has offices in Annapolis, MD, Lancaster, PA, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, VA. For more information about the Alliance, visit www.allianceforthebay.org.
About Nestlé USA:
Named among “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for twenty-two consecutive years, Nestlé USA brands are in nearly every home in the country. With some of the most recognizable food and beverage brands, including Coffee mate, DiGiorno and Nestlé Toll House, the largest coffee portfolio in the U.S. with Nescafé, Nestlé Starbucks Coffee and Chameleon Cold Brew, and category disruptors like Sweet Earth, Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient products people love. With 2018 sales of $9.7 billion, Nestlé USA is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food and beverage company. For product news and information, visit Nestleusa.com or Facebook.com/NestleUSA.
About Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association:
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 the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources:
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), is the agency responsible for maintaining and preserving Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks and 20 state forests, providing information on the state’s natural resources, and working with communities to benefit local recreation and natural areas. For more information about PA DCNR, visit www.dcnr.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Phone: (443) 949-0575 | Cell: (410) 718-2728
Office: +1 (571) 457-5304
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association
Office: (814) 386-8000
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Phone: (717) 772-9101 | Cell: (717) 579-5177