Environmentally Friendly Farm Program

The Penn State Extension Environmentally Friendly Farm Program is designed to recognize farms that adopt environmentally sound management practices that protect the environment and water quality.
Environmentally Friendly Farm Program - Articles

Updated: October 4, 2017

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Environmentally Friendly Farm Program

Environmentally Friendly Farm Sign

What is the Environmentally Friendly Farm Program

  • An Environmentally Friendly Farm implements Best Management Practices (BMPs) to maintain healthy pastures, reduce soil erosion, limit nutrient runoff from animal facilities and barnyards, properly store and handle manure, recycle nutrients, and control animal access to surface waters.
  • Excess sediment and nutrient runoff from manure poses health threats not only to the environment, but also to animals and people.
  • Farm managers who practice environmental stewardship maintain healthy environments for their animals, their families, and their community.
  • The program is supported by funds from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) - Conservation Innovation Grant.

Complete the Environmentally Friendly Farm application and assessment that includes background information about your farm operation.

Mail or email completed Application and Farm Self-Assessment Checklist to:

Penn State Extension
14 Gracedale Ave.
Nazareth, PA 18064
dlf5@psu.edu

Who Can Participate in the Program?

The Environmentally Friendly Farm Program is designed to recognize equine and livestock operations that practice environmental stewardship.

Eligible Participates

  • All commercial and non-commercial farms, regardless of size, are eligible to apply for the program.
  • There is no cost to apply for the program or for the individual assistance that you will receive. Environmentally Friendly Farm recipients will receive an Environmentally Friendly Farm sign and other marketing materials free of charge.

How can I benefit from being included in the program?

  • Farm managers that apply for the program will benefit by engaging in an ongoing partnership with representatives of Penn State Extension and other agencies that provide on-farm education and individual assistance.
  • The farm will be recognized by the public, conservation and agricultural agencies, and other farm managers as an operation that is committed to clean water and a healthy environment.
  • Each farm manager will receive an Environmentally Friendly Farm sign that can be displayed on the farmstead. Farms that qualify will also be given permission to use the Environmentally Friendly Farm artwork on their website, brochure, and other marketing materials.
  • Approved farms will be listed on the Penn State Extension Equine website. This recognition will reflect the commitment of the farm manager to environmental stewardship and can serve as a marketing tool for the farm.

How do I apply to be included in this program?

  • Obtain the environmentally friendly farm application and farm self-assessment by contacting one of the equine team members listed below.
  • These team members are available to provide you with assistance in completing the farm assessment and can respond to questions about practices on your farm so feel free to call them at any time.
  • Complete the Environmentally Friendly Farm application that includes background information about your farm operation.
  • Complete the Environmentally Friendly Farm Self-Assessment Checklist. The checklist consists of a series of statements that identify potential on-farm practices. Each statement is checked "Yes" if the practice is in place on the farm, "No" if the practice is not in place or "Non-Applicable" if the statement does not pertain to the farm operation. The checklist has five sections: Environmentally Sensitive Areas, Pastures, Animal Concentration Areas (ACAs), Manure Storage, and Mechanical Manure Application.
  • Mail or email completed Application and Farm Self-Assessment Checklist

    Penn State Extension
    14 Gracedale Ave.
    Nazareth, PA 18064
    dlf5@psu.edu

Once completed, how is the farm self-assessment verified for accuracy?

  • Once the paperwork has been received, a farm site visit will be scheduled.
  • A representative from Penn State Extension, The County Conservation District, or the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will visit farms to verify that statements made in the application and checklists are accurate. At the same time, additional information and assistance will be provided to help improve farm management and develop any necessary plans for the farm.

When will I receive the sign and other marketing materials?

  • When the agency representative verifies that the farm assessment is accurate and that the farm has adopted best management practices that are necessary to protect the environment, you will receive an acceptance letter inviting you to be a member of the Environmentally Friendly Farm Program.
  • When you return the acceptance letter, you will receive the sign and copy of the official Environmentally Friendly Farm artwork. Your farm name will then be added to the list of Environmentally Friendly Farms on the Penn State Extension Equine website and your farm will be recognized in the media.

Authors

Hay and Forage Nutrition Pasture and Nutrient Management Practices PA Manure Management Equine Health and Parasites Pasture Weed Identification

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