Initial funding for Sustainable Dairy PA comes from The Hershey Company’s $300,000 commitment to support the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Land O’Lakes in helping install agricultural conservation practices on Land O’Lakes member dairy farms. The partnership includes 119 Land O’Lakes member-owners in Central Pennsylvania that ship 50% or more of their milk supply to Hershey.
The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will utilize Hershey’s funds to leverage additional grant funding to implement conservation plans and innovative on-farm environmental practices. The solutions range from riparian buffer plantings that reduce stream bank erosion and improve habitat to animal waste storage systems and other sustainable farming practices to support a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution.
“Leadership from corporations, like that of Hershey and Land O’Lakes, is critical to restoring Pennsylvania’s rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, and reaching our climate goals. With so many passionate businesses in our watershed, we hope this partnership inspires others to take action towards a more sustainable future,” shared Jenna Mitchell Beckett, Pennsylvania State Director and Agriculture Program Director at the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.
The initiative has begun working with dairy farmers in south-central Pennsylvania and is actively building a list of their conservation needs that will guide the program’s priorities. In addition to working with the initial 119 farms, the partnership has the potential to reach more than 400 Land O’Lakes member farms supplying milk to Hershey as funding and support grows.
“We recognize that global impact means teaming up with other leading organizations like The Hershey Company and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and we’re excited to support this new initiative,” said Glenda Gehl, Land O’Lakes Senior Director of Member Relations. “Through the Land O’Lakes Dairy 2025 Commitment, we are committed to developing measurable ways for our farmer-members to reduce their environmental footprint in a manner that supports on-farm profitability and meets the expectations of our customers and consumers.”
The initiative recognizes that dairy producers are important players in helping improve water quality and mitigating climate change and was established to provide dairy farmers with the resources needed to improve their impact on the environment. This allows farmers to produce quality farm products while contributing to the health of the Bay, its tributaries, and the planet. The work seeks to demonstrate that conservation and economic profit are compatible, and high-quality milk produced on farms using clean water and climate-smart practices provides a value-added premium in the marketplace and addresses the growing demands of discerning consumers.
“As we continue on our path to reduce our environmental footprint and address climate change, we’re excited to partner with Land O’Lakes and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to promote best on-farm sustainable management practices in our dairy supply chain,” said Eric Boyle, Director of Commodities Procurement at The Hershey Company. “Not only will this initiative help Hershey to reduce our GHG footprint and improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and other watersheds in the region, it will also help to improve soil health and protect biodiversity, and strengthen our connection to our dairy producers who are so integral to the creation of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.”
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company is headquartered in Hershey, Pa., and is an industry-leading snacks company known for bringing goodness to the world through its iconic brands, remarkable people and enduring commitment to help children succeed. Hershey has approximately 17,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 90 brands around the world that drive more than $8.1 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat®, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop, and Pirate’s Booty.
For more than 125 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably. Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on helping children succeed.
To learn more visit www.thehersheycompany.com.
About the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Headquartered in Annapolis, MD, with offices in Lancaster, PA, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, VA, the Alliance implements local programs that connect people to their local rivers and streams. As individuals become directly involved in local restoration efforts, our programs build resiliency among our communities and landscapes to continually adapt to a changing world.
In the last 50 years, the Alliance has:
- Planted over 1 million trees
- Installed over $10M in practices to reduce polluted stormwater runoff
- Implemented over 764 acres of on-farm best management practices
- Trained over 700 volunteer scientists to collect over 360,000 water quality data points
Visit allianceforthebay.org to learn more.
About Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2020 annual sales of $14 billion, Land O’Lakes is one of the nation’s largest cooperatives, ranking 219 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 99 years of operation, Land O’Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition, WinField United and Truterra. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O’Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minnesota.
SOURCE The Hershey Company