A regional partnership project between Maryland, Virginia and Sustainable Chesapeake has been awarded a grant of $4,575,000 from the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
According to a Maryland Department of Agriculture news release, the RCPP grant will provide $3.5 million in funding for dairies in Maryland to implement best management practices to address nutrient management needs over the next five years. The MDA will provide $3.5 million in matching funds.
"This project provides important assistance to help farmers address some of the biggest natural resource challenges in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed," said Gov. Larry Hogan in a prepared statement. "Creating a clean and healthy Bay continues to be a top priority of our administration."
"RCPP brings together regional partners with similar issues to address in making water quality improvements," said Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder in a prepared statement. "We are pleased that our partnership with Virginia and the nonprofit Sustainable Chesapeake will bring additional NRCS resources to our dairies so they can continue to operate profitably and meet Chesapeake Bay goals."
Dairy farmers in Virginia will also receive support to accelerate their nutrient management planning process, according to the release.