The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The Hershey Company have announced the joint commitment of $2 million to support dairy farmers in Pennsylvania, US.
The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, in collaboration with US agricultural cooperative Land O’Lakes, will use funds to promote the adoption of practices that support local and regional environmental goals with dairy farmers in Land O’Lakes’ eastern region milk shed.
Since 2021, the Alliance, Hershey and Land O’Lakes have worked together on the ‘Sustainable Dairy PA’ initiative, which takes a “collaborative, industry-led and public sector-supported approach” to accelerate on-farm conservation efforts for dairy farmers within the local region.
The EPA has committed $1 million, with Hershey pledging a matching $1 million. The funds will be used to support the Alliance and Land O’Lakes in implementing agricultural conservation practices on its member dairy farms. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will administer the portion of the funds provided from EPA to the Alliance. The funding will support clean water, climate and sustainable farming initiatives.
Leigh Horner, CSO at The Hershey Company, said: “Dairy farmers are critical to our supply chain and our local communities. We are proud to support the work of ‘Sustainable Dairy PA’ and the farmers participating as they drive meaningful impact on clean water and conservation efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay.”
EPA regional administrator Adam Ortiz added: “EPA’s funding commitment to Hershey, Land O’Lakes, and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay brings $2 million of much-needed support to Pennsylvania dairy farmers to scale up conservation practices that are good for our farms, climate, local streams and the Bay. With this funding, we are not only investing in the current environment, but into the long-term viability of Pennsylvania farmers – our frontline environmentalists.”
Land O’Lakes SVP of Global Dairy Ingredients & International, Tim Leviny, explained that collaborative initiatives like ‘Sustainable Dairy PA’ provide the necessary incentives to drive voluntary practice changes that help contribute to the health of the planet, while also helping position farmers for success in the challenging operating environment.
Jenna Mitchell Beckett, agriculture program director at the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, commented: “Hershey’s, EPA’s and Land O’Lakes’ leadership to support our Pennsylvania dairy farmers and local ecosystems is revolutionary. This effort is helping to create a paradigm shift in which an entire supply chain works together to support work on the ground rather than farmers being expected to carry the load alone. We believe this model is the future of how we will overcome the environmental hurdles we face.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023