Protecting Natural Habitats through Responsible Agricultural Practices

Daniel Fox

Senior Grower Representative

Altria Client Services

We have a goal for 100 percent of our Tobacco Leaders Program (TLP) growers to be Good Agricultural Practices Connections Certified by the end of 2021 and have worked very hard since 2019 to educate growers on the certification requirements. To protect the health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, Pennsylvania law requires growers to have a written conservation plan documenting the Best Management Practices (BMPs) growers implement to prevent or reduce sediment and nutrient pollution from their farm operations. The certification program also recognizes growers when they implement additional environmental best practices around agrochemical storage, waste management and responsible irrigation. 

It is a challenge to get conservation plans written in a timely manner across our grower base but our partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), established in 2009, certainly helps overcome this challenge. Each year NFWF offers grants to organizations delivering on-the-ground conservation efforts that benefit farms and habitats in the Chesapeake Bay region. One of NFWF’s grant recipients, a consultant in PA, provides conservation and nutrient management plans for individual growers at no cost. We informed our PA grower base of this opportunity and over 40 of our growers have utilized the consultant’s services to develop their written conservation plans.

Our work with external stakeholders like NFWF has been key in improving communication and support for our grower base, which is primarily Amish and Mennonite with limited access to technology. Working one-on-one with our growers, they identified the BMPs needed on their farms such as contour buffer strips, cover crops, reduced tillage and residue management, grassed waterways, manure storage and more. As the growers implement these BMPs they will reduce their nutrient and sediment impact on the surrounding watershed. Partnerships like this help our growers achieve certification and drive agricultural sustainability while also benefiting the environment.


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Investing in Higher Education and Agricultural Studies

Altria is involved in programs like these university scholarships because it shows that the company cares about the future of tobacco growers and their families.
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Our Supplier Diversity Employee Network

The Supplier Diversity program is purposed to increase the use of diverse suppliers in our value chain and has been in existence at Altria and its subsidiary companies since 1981.
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Recognizing our Business Partners

Our suppliers are our business partners and they directly help the success of our companies. We want to recognize suppliers for going above and beyond their normal call of duty.