Protecting the Chesapeake Bay

With a grocery store, ice cream parlor and award-winning restaurant, Oregon Dairy Farm offers a true farm-to-fork experience for their local community. Behind the scenes, the farm has instituted sustainable practices every step of the way.

Food waste and cow manure is composted and sold to gardeners. Solar panels lining the on-site grocery store’s roof account for 10 percent of the electricity for the store, while additional electricity comes from the farm’s digester. Oregon Dairy Farm is also conscious of their location in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and employs many practices to help keep local waterways clean. The farm reduces soil erosion to keep contaminants out of the waterways through “no-till” farming which limits soil turnover and increases water absorption by the soil.

Oregon Dairy Farm continues to focus on renewable energy efforts to reduce their environmental impact. Their solar energy system was the first of its size in Manheim Township, and as of 2020 is the fourth largest in the area. With 162 solar arrays installed, the farm has the ability to power about 30 homes per year. Additionally, the cow manure used in the digester produces enough electricity to power another 600 homes.

“We want to set an example and show consumers how to be good stewards,” said dairy farmer George Hurst. “It’s not just about fixing the whole world all at once. If we all take responsibility for what we are working with we can all be good stewards too.”

A group of dairy farmers receiving an award.