Partnering with Conservancy to Improve Water Quality
It’s not every day that farmers and environmental groups team up with a common goal in mind – especially in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. But with a goal of improving the community’s water quality, the partnership between Oakland View Farms and Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (now Shorerivers) led to national recognition. The duo worked together by implementing Maryland’s first woodchip bioreactor, which removes nitrogen from water before it gets to a stream. Since its instillation eight years ago, nitrogen in the water from the farm has been reduced by almost 100 percent and is keeping local waterways that lead to the Chesapeake Bay clean, helping to prevent water quality issues like harmful algae blooms in the Bay.
According to Oakland View dairy farmer Scott Youse, the bioreactor worked better than the farm could have ever imagined and aided in removing nitrogen from water before leaving the farm. In addition to its partnership with Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, Oakland View Farms has recently made upgrades on their farm to reduce their energy usage with LED lighting and energy efficient fans in their bans.
“By investing in sustainable practices on the farm it really let the community know we are truly trying to do the right thing,” said Youse. “It has always been important to be good stewards of the land and water and we want to stay ahead of the game. We do our best to keep everything maintained and better our practices.”
Midshore Riverkeepers & Oakland View Farms Win U.S. Sustainability Award