WASHINGTON BORO, PA. – The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The Hershey Company mutually committed $2 million toward dairy farms adopting sustainable practices. Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Land O’Lakes, Inc., are linking to use the funds to support dairy farmers in Land O’ Lakes’ eastern region with those endeavors.

Alliance, Hershey and Land O’ Lakes since 2021 have collaborated on an initiative called Sustainable Dairy PA, which involves an industry-led and public sector-supported strategy to accelerate conservation practices on the region’s dairy farms.

Both EPA and Hershey are contributing $1 million apiece for the upcoming work on that front.

“Dairy farmers are critical to our supply chain and our local communities,” said Leigh Horner, chief sustainability officer for The Hershey Company. “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.”

The practices being supported are expected to improve long-term sustainability on dairy farms, where improved soil health and operational efficiencies will be among the goals.

"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," said EPA regional administrator Adam Ortiz. "With this funding, we are not only investing in the current environment, but into the long-term viability of Pennsylvania farmers – our frontline environmentalists."

Alliance previously created a model for local companies so they could increase sustainability within their respective dairy supply chains, with cleaner water for the communities also being addressed.

“American farmers continually rise to the challenge of feeding a growing global population in an increasingly sustainable and efficient manner,” said Tim Leviny, senior vice president of global dairy ingredients & international at Land O’Lakes. “Collaborative initiatives like Sustainable Dairy PA provide the necessary incentives to drive voluntary practice changes that not only help contribute to the health of the planet, but also help better position farmers for success in a challenging operating environment.”

Jenna Mitchell Beckett, Alliance’s agriculture program director, called the support for Pennsylvania dairy farmers and ecosystems from Hershey, EPA and Land O’ Lakes as 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,” Beckett said. “We believe this model is the future of how we will overcome the environmental hurdles we face.”