Turkey Hill Dairy receives its milk from about 160 MDVA farms all within a 50-mile radius of their manufacturing facility in Conestoga, Pennsylvania. As part of their 2018 contract with MDVA, Turkey Hill has asked that all producers receive a conservation plan and reach 100 percent environmental compliance through implementing on-the-ground conservation practices. These practices include animal waste storage systems, riparian forest buffers, cover crops, barnyard stabilization, and more. Once all of MDVA’s member farms supplying milk to Turkey Hill Dairy are in compliance, Turkey Hill will pay the farmers a premium for their milk.
Throughout the past two years, MDVA and the Alliance have been coordinating site visits to establish which farms have a conservation plan and which are in compliance with their plan if they already have one. As of 2018, we found that of 60 farms visited by MDVA staff, 17 need conservation plans. MDVA’s sustainability team field staff will be visiting those that need conservation plans to link them up with a local agricultural consulting firm or the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to write their plan.
The goal of the Partnership is to restore the health of Lancaster’s waterways and encourage other businesses to create environmental change with a nonprofit partner. Reducing the amount of nutrients and sediment flowing from farms and into local waterways not only improves stream health locally, but it also helps restore the health of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. Overall, the THCWP hopes to demonstrate how cross-sector partnerships have the ability to accelerate local restoration efforts.