5 Pennsylvania Farms Receive Clean Water Farm Awards

The PA Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. awarded the operators of five farms with the Clean Water Farm Award.

The honor is annually awarded to farmers who manage their daily farm operations in an environmentally conscious manner that helps to protect Pennsylvania’s water quality. This is the first year the award was opened to farmers outside the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

This year’s award recipients are from Indiana, Wyoming, Bucks, Clinton and Lancaster counties.

“These farming families are being honored for going above and beyond what is required of them by law to reduce pollution and improve water quality,” said PACD President Jack Tressler. “Farmers are taking proactive steps to ensure there is enough clean water for future generations.”

The 2014 Clean Water Farm Award Recipients are:

— Keith George of Brookside Dairy (Indiana County). Brookside Dairy is located in Homer City and has 420 dairy cows. The farm uses no-till and installed stream bank fencing and stabilized stream crossings on the entire operation. Seven years ago they installed a manure digester and have generated more than 3-million kilowatt-hours.

—  John and Rick Kobylski (Wyoming County). The Kobylski Beef operation uses 600 cropland acres, 243 acres of pasture and has 300 head of beef cattle. Some of their installed practices include stream bank fencing, a stream crossing and contour strips. In 2013, the Kobylskis constructed a heavy-use area protection and manure storage facility.

— Henry and Charlotte Rosenberger of Tussock Sedge Farm (Bucks County). Tussock Sedge Farm is located in Blooming Glen and includes 300 head of beef cattle. The Rosenbergers have planted riparian buffers, installed a wetland, preserved more than 400 acres of land and participate in the Forest Stewardship Program.

— Elam E. Stoltzfus, Jr. (Clinton County). The Elam Stoltzfus Family Farm is located near Mill Hall. The 75-acre farm includes 40 dairy cows, 20 heifers and 11 horses. The farm purchased a no-till drill which is used to plant multi-species cover crops and new hay seedlings. Other practices include farm lane stabilization, waste storage facilities and a new heavy-use area.

— Earl Ray Zimmerman (Lancaster County). Located in Ephrata, the farm raises 60 beef steers and 48,000 organic chickens. The farm is preserved through the Lancaster County Preserve Board. Practices include no-till planting, grassed waterways and diversions. Lancaster County Conservation District says, “He thinks of new and different ways to make his farm economically viable while also continuing to be a steward of the land.”

The Clean Water Farm award was initiated in 1986. Recipients of the award are nominated by their local county conservation districts. Financial support for this award is provided by the Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program and the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Education Office, administered by PACD.

(Reprinted from the July 24 DEP NewsClick Here to sign up to receive your own copy and for back issues.)


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