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Alliance Receives $500,000 Funding to Continue Conservation Work with Lancaster Dairy Farmers

Press Release

Media Contact: Marissa Spratley
Email: mspratley@allianceforthebay.org
Office: 443-949-0575 Cell: 410-718-2728

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alliance Receives $500,000 Funding to Continue Conservation Work with Lancaster Dairy Farmers
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funding will support the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership initiative

Lancaster, PA (September 17, 2020) The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Alliance) was recently awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)’s Small Watersheds Grant program to continue its work supporting dairy farmers as part of the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership (THCWP).

In 2018, the Alliance joined forces with Turkey Hill Dairy (Turkey Hill) and its dairy co-op, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association (MDVA), to create the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership. This effort provides technical and financial assistance for MDVA farmers producing milk for Turkey Hill’s ice cream. More specifically, funding supports farmers in obtaining a conservation plan and installing all necessary practices on their farm to be in compliance with their plan, which results in decreasing the runoff leaving the farms and entering local streams, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.

These changes to Turkey Hill’s procurement process have been no small feat, as over 180 MDVA farmers serve Turkey Hill Dairy. However, the THCWP has experienced tremendous success over the past two years and this additional funding will further accelerate and grow the Partnership’s impact.

To date, the Partnership has:

  • Covered 100% of the cost of writing conservation plans for 24 farms.
  • Installed 14 structural agricultural best management practices, such as manure storage facilities, heavy use area protection and barnyard stabilization, grassed waterways, and streambank fencing all of which reduce the amount of polluted water running off a farm and into local streams.
  • Engaged 37 farmers, which is approximately 30% of the farmers providing milk to Turkey Hill Dairy.

The Partnership does more than just set sustainable goals for dairy farmers supplying Turkey Hill. “The hands-on approach of working alongside each producer is important to not only Turkey Hill, but to the dairy industry overall, as it can accelerate conservation action and motivate more businesses to take a similar approach,” said Turkey Hill’s CEO, Tim Hopkins. “The additional funding will drive momentum, as the Partnership continues to assist farmers in developing best practices for nutrient and soil management.”

“Working together with the THCWP has allowed our farm to design and complete many improvements to our operation,” said Chris Landis of Worth the Wait Farms in Lancaster County, PA. “This has impacted our operation by allowing us to manage our livestock and cropping in a responsible manner leading us to implement the best conservation practices that we can to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.”

For more information about the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership, please visit allianceforthebay.org/THCWP.

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 waterways and becomes directly involved in 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 allianceforthebay.org.

About Turkey Hill LLC:
Located in the heart of farm-rich Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Turkey Hill, founded in 1931, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of branded ice cream and refrigerated drinks for the retail, food service, and alternative channels, both nationwide and internationally. In 2019, the Turkey Hill made the switch to 100 percent renewable energy at its Conestoga facility, drawing clean, sustainable power from nearby hydroelectric dams and two wind turbines. For more information about Turkey Hill, its products and its environmental commitment, visit TurkeyHill.com or follow Turkey Hill on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or the Turkey Hill Nation.

About Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative:
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.

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Marissa Spratley Communications Manager, Maryland Office

Marissa is the Communications Manager at the Alliance’s Headquarters. Her job includes managing communications strategies across the organization and our regional offices.

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