Four Pa. farms receive clean water farm award

Clean Water Farm Award
From left to right: PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh, PA Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary for Animal Health and Food Safety Gregory Hostetter, PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell, award recipient Kelly Smith, award recipient Will Smith, PACD President Charles Duritsa, and PACD North Central Region Director Dr. Robert Shannon.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts Inc., in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, presented the operators of four farms with the Clean Water Farm Award during its annual conference July 18 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


The honor is awarded annually to farmers who manage their daily farm operations in an environmentally conscious manner that helps to protect Pennsylvania’s water quality.

Recipients receive a certificate signed by the DEP secretary and a Clean Water Farm Award sign to erect on their property.

This year’s award recipients are from Berks, Franklin, Indiana and Susquehanna counties.

Award winners. The 2018 Clean Water Farm Award recipients are:

• Ed Chianese (Susquehanna County). Chianese owns a beef farm in Susquehanna. The farm has 80 acres of cropland and 25 acres of pasture.

Best management practices include diversions, grassed waterways, 2.7 acres of riparian buffers and 1,000 feet of streambank fencing.

Future plans include more pasture work by installing subsurface drainage to collect water for two water troughs, underground outlets and livestock water pipeline.

• Justin and Doreen Geisinger Air Hill Acres Farm (Franklin County). The Geisingers own Air Hill Acres Farm in Chambersburg.

The farm has 70 beef and 40 dairy cows on 135 acres of pasture. Air Hill Acres is an organic, 100 percent grazing dairy that also custom raises steers. Best management practices include rotational grazing, concrete manure storage, stream crossings, livestock fencing and a grassed waterway.

The Geisingers host farm tours and pasture walks.

• Will and Kelly Smith, Deep Roots Valley Farm (Berks County). The Smiths own Deep Roots Valley Farm in Mohrsville. The beef, hog, and poultry farm has 95 acres of pasture.

Best management practices include animal walkways, rotational grazing and riparian buffers.

• Dave Pounds (Indiana County). Pounds and family own a 101-acre beef cattle farm in Marion Center. The farm has 16 acres of rotational grazing pasture, with 35 acres of mostly hayland, and more than 20 acres of Conservation Reserve Program land.

Best management practices include grassed diversions, contour farming, stream crossings, and more than 35 feet of riparian buffer on all stream corridors.

Recipients of the award are nominated by their local county conservation districts. For more information, visit


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