Year Inducted: 2011
Nominated by the Pennsylvania NRCS
The Masonic Village Farm near Elizabethtown, Pa., was recognized as a 2011 regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winner during the 2011 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Kissimmee, Fla. The Masonic Village Farm is the Region I ESAP award winner and will compete with five other regional winners for the national ESAP award, which will be announced during the 2012 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn.
The ESAP award is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences; the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Cattlemen’s Foundation; and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
The Masonic Village Farm is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community, owned and operated by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, with goals of achieving great conservational practices while ensuring that its residents continue to enjoy open spaces. The Masonic Village implements rotational grazing to maintain its pastures; uses manure from feedlots to fertilize its fields; and has created innovative watering systems. Additionally, the farm invites the public to tour the facilities and learn more about the possibilities of stewardship in agriculture. The Masonic Village was nominated by the Pennsylvania NRCS.
"The Masonic Village Farm has been a pioneer in protecting and improving water quality on their operation,” said Donald McNutt, administrator of the Lancaster County Conservation District. “They are an exemplary example of a progressive, well managed beef and grazing operation which leads to their excellent conservation stewardship ethic.”
Through a dedication to responsible environmental practices and conservation, the Masonic Village Farm has partnered with federal and state agencies as well as private agricultural organizations to manage natural resources. According to a letter of support, Lance Kauf, Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association president, said the Masonic Village Farm is an exemplary steward of the land.
“Our association recognizes the efforts of those in our industry that embrace environmental stewardship practices and encourage others through their promotion of best management practices developed for our members within our state,” Kauf said. “They have implemented numerous practices and consistently share the positive impacts they have made environmentally with others in our industry who are trying to achieve the same goal.”