Alvin and Michael Herman, owners of Albavale Farm in Canton, Pa. were recently named one of the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Farm Award recipients. The Hermans (along with T-n-C Farm in York County, Morrill and Melody Curtis in Snyder County, and Mill Hill Farm in Blair County) were recognized during the Annual Conservation Awards program of the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. (PACD) held on July 20 in State College, Pa. In recognition of their conservation achievements, award recipients received framed certificates and large “Clean Water Farm Award” signs to erect on their farms.
The Clean Water Farm Award, initiated in 1986, recognizes farmers within Pennsylvania’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, who manage their daily farm operation while keeping a watchful eye on water quality. The farms’ conservation plans address issues that help control potential pollutants such as eroded soil, pesticides, and fertilizers from entering streams or groundwater supplies.
The Bradford County Conservation District nominated Albavale Farm because the Hermans are active conservation practitioners and promoters. Their current conservation focus is transition to no-till crop production that allows them to spread manure without the fertilizer entering streams or the groundwater supply and adversely impacting the environment. The Herman’s pasture system also highlights their conservation ethic. The entire herd (150 Registered Holsteins) is rotationally grazed. This Best Management Practice (BMP) limits soil compaction and encourages root growth that reduces soil erosion and fertilizer leaching. An unnamed tributary to Alba Creek that bisects the farm and pasture are completely fenced to eliminate cattle access to the stream. Two spring developments and the well provide all drinking water for the grazing cattle so the tributary remains protected.
“The Hermans have worked diligently to make their farm truly a clean water farm. They share their expertise with the community and they seem to not only love what they do but care about how they do it,” said Nathan Dewing, Bradford County Conservation District Agriculture Resource Specialist.
The Clean Water Farm Awards program is coordinated by the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Education Office (administered by PACD, a private, nonprofit organization representing Pennsylvania’s sixty-six county conservation districts). The awards are sponsored jointly by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Chesapeake Bay Program and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to recognize farmers who implement Best Management Practices. The Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Education Office conducts numerous activities promoting the theme, “We All Live Downstream.” For more information, visit pacd.org. To learn more about the Bradford County Conservation District visit http://bradfordcountypa.org/Other-Agencies/Conservation-District.asp.