April 26 2017 07:21 AM

Grants Available to Beef and Dairy Farmers through June 30

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

The Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence and Center for Beef Excellence are offering financial assistance to both dairy and beef farms that need professional assistance in developing plans to meet baseline agricultural compliance.

Dairy and beef farms can receive up to $1,000 to reimburse for professional services associated with environmental planning. Applicants must submit a one-page application to be considered. The grant funds will assist with the cost of hiring professional plan writers to develop Nutrient Management, Manure Management or Agriculture Erosion and Sediment Control Plans. The grants must be used by June 30, 2017.

Dairy farms participating in a Dairy Profit or Transition Team through the Center for Dairy Excellence must apply separately for the environmental grant using the “On Farm Resource Program” application.

Support for this joint initiative is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Ag Excellence initiative within the state budget. It complements a growing emphasis on helping Pennsylvania’s agricultural producers to contribute to water quality improvement goals, particularly within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, by aiding beef and dairy farmers to attain a base level of compliance with state conservation and clean water requirements.

By 2025, Pennsylvania agriculture is responsible for reducing nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment runoff to meet the annual allowed discharges entering the Chesapeake Bay, a number set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the federal Clean Water Act in 2010. Pennsylvania plays a significant role in Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.

Grant applications can be found at centerfordairyexcellence.org under the “Business Tools” tab or contact Melissa Anderson at 717-346-0849 or via email manderson@centerfordairyexcellence.org.

For more information about the grants, dairy farmers and beef farmers can contact:

• Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or via email manderson@centerfordairyexcellence.org.

• Center for Beef Excellence at (717) 705-1689 or via email at anoganCBE@gmail.com.

The Center for Dairy Excellence is a non-profit organization initiated by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in 2004. Bringing together people from more than 40 different dairy organizations in Pennsylvania, the center’s mission is to enhance the profitability of the dairy industry by empowering people, creating partnerships, and increasing the availability and use of resources. Learn more at centerfordairyexcellence.org.