PA Farmers Recognized For Efforts To Protect Chesapeake Bay

The PA Association of Conservation Districts this week awarded the operators of three farms within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed the Clean Water Farm Award.

            The honor is annually awarded to farmers who manage their daily farm operations in an environmental conscious manner that helps to protect Pennsylvania’s water quality.
            “This year’s award recipients hail from Lancaster, Union and Bradford counties, where the agricultural industry is the life-blood of many communities and families,” said MaryAnn Warren, President of the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts. “These recipients are being honored today for leading the charge by implementing smart, realistic strategies that will result in a reduction of pollution to local waters.”
            Warren added, “Pennsylvania’s farmers have provided for our citizens, families, businesses and economy for generations. And now, I am proud to also say that these farmers are taking proactive steps to protect our environment by safeguarding critical water resources that flow into the Chesapeake Bay.”
            The Clean Water Farm award was initiated in 1986. Recipients of the award are nominated by their local county conservation districts. This annual award program is coordinated by the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Education Office, administered by PACD.
            The awards are sponsored jointly by the Department of Environmental Protection’s Chesapeake Bay Program and the Department of Agriculture to recognize farmers who implement Best Management Practices. The Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Education Office conducts numerous activities promoting the theme, “We All Live Downstream.”
            2011 Clean Water Farm Award Recipients include:
-- Benuel Zook, Navron, Lancaster County: With approximately 57 acres of cropland, 12 acres of pasture, 50 dairy cows and 10 horses, the Zook farm installed many best management practices in a short timeframe including: a basin and underground outlet; a waste storage facility; a rock-lined waterway; a heavy use area; fencing; a terrace with an underground outlet; a diversion; as well as a grassed waterway. The Zook farm has a current and certified Nutrient Management Plan.
-- Michael Kelsch/Golden Laurel Farm, Columbia Crossroads, Bradford County: With approximately 208 acres of cropland and 97 dairy cows, the Golden Laurel Farm utilizes cover crops; reduced till and no-till; underground outlets; critical area planting; manure transfer systems; pumping plant; access road, heavy use area protection; stabilized barnyard; roof run-off controls; contour strips; diversion ditches; crop rotation and contour plowing. In addition, the Nutrient Management Plan for the farm is up-to-date and Mr. Kelsch is a certified individual nutrient management specialist.
-- The Kling Family/Focus Farms, Lewisburg, Union County: With approximately 840 acres of cropland, 48 acres of pasture, 150 beef cattle and 40,000 turkeys, Focus Farms has implemented contour strips, waste storage facilities, barnyard run-off controls, roof run-off controls, soil and manure testing, plant tissue analysis, feed management, no-till farming, forestry and wildlife habitat.
            NewsClip - Photos: PA Farmers Awarded For Efforts To Protect Chesapeake Bay


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