The George 'Bud' Malone Environmental Award

Deadline extended to June 23

The George 'Bud' Malone Environmental Award

For the second year, DCA will recognize a chicken grower who goes above and beyond to make his or her farm environmentally responsible and compatible with neighboring properties with the George 'Bud' Malone Environmental Award. This award shines a spotlight on Delmarva chicken growers who integrate vegetative environmental buffers and other conservation measures, ensuring their farms are sustainable and are good neighbors. The winner of the award also receives a $500 prize from DCA. You can nominate a farm for the award by acting before June 23.

The award is named for Bud Malone, who had the foresight to begin our nationally recognized vegetative environmental buffers program, and who remains involved in DCA and Delmarva's chicken community. This program has resulted in the planting of thousands of trees, shrubs and grasses on family-owned poultry farms on Delmarva and led to improved relations between farm owners and neighboring property owners. In 2022, the Malone Award was presented to John and Linda Brown, who own L & J Farm in Harrington, Del.

Applications will be accepted from a grower, his or her family, friends, flock supervisors or state or federal agencies. Which means, growers, you can self-nominate, or you can nominate a fellow grower whose farm you admire! To be nominated, a grower must be a DCA member at the $150 level or above.

Practices to be considered include:
  • Heavy use pads, well-maintained and well-kept
  • Vegetative environmental buffers around chicken houses; at property lines; and around ponds and manure sheds
  • Pollinator-friendly vegetative buffer plots
  • Overall cleanliness
  • Grass buffers near tunnel fans to contain dust, feathers, and odor
  • Solar energy on the farm
  • Mortality freezers or other excellent mortality composting practices
  • Commendable appearance and maintenance of manure storage structures
  • Well-maintained farm roads
  • Weed control around chicken houses
  • Proper drainage, including stormwater ponds
  • Other adaptations or practices the grower has made to benefit neighbor relations

To apply for the George 'Bud' Malone Environmental Award, print and complete this form, and send it to DCA's communications manager, James Fisher, by June 23, 2023. DCA staff may contact the owners of nominated farms to schedule a visit and identify and verify the practices listed on the application. Applications will be submitted to the Grower Committee Chairperson for review. The Grower Committee will make the final determination of the winner at its September meeting.

DCA will recognize the award recipient at a grower event in October with a plaque, a news release promoting the grower's accomplishments, and may nominate the recipient for US POULTRY's Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award.

Submit an application by June 23 to:

James Fisher
Delmarva Chicken Association
16686 County Seat Highway
Georgetown, DE 19947
or by email:

Download the Nomination Form

DCA's Delaware Buffers Cost-Share Program

DCA has been awarded a $192,000 grant from the state of Delaware to operate a cost-share program funding installation of two kinds of vegetative environmental buffers on Delaware broiler farms: hedgerows of warm-season grasses near tunnel fans and sidewall fans, and pollinator-friendly plantings. DCA is providing a $262,235 match over the three-year course of the grant. A cost-share program is now available to eligible DCA members that covers 90 percent of the costs of technical assistance, installation, and reporting for these types of buffers. The grower's cost to take advantage of the cost-share program will be the remaining 10 percent.

Because of Delaware's and the EPA's water-quality priorities, eligibility for the cost-share programs is limited to farms in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Delaware Inland Bays, and certain areas of the St. Jones River (Delaware Bay) watershed. To qualify, an applicant must be in good standing as a DCA member, at the $150 level or higher, prior to DCA staff providing on-farm technical assistance for these best management practices (BMPs).

To apply, growers will fill out this application form. DCA staff will complete a planting design showing BMP location and estimated plant quantities and materials, and we will also assist the applicants in locating contractors to provide estimates on BMP installation.

Download Application

Growers must submit invoices to DCA staff for installed BMPs on a timely manner to initiate the final inspection on completion as well as to start the payment process. Growers will be obligated to maintain the installed BMPs for their intended purpose of treating a documented resource concern for a period of 10 years. If the installed BMPs are destroyed in any manner, they will be reinstalled at the owner's expense. DCA staff will perform annual and semi-annual inspections to verify the conditions of the BMPs during the first five years.

Repayment of cost-share funds to DCA will be required if any of the following occur:
  • Farm was sold within the 10-year period and the new owner will not use the houses for poultry production
  • The new owner will not agree in writing to maintain the installed BMPs for the remainder of the 10-year period
  • The BMPs are destroyed in some manner by the current owner or farm help and not re-established properly, within a specified timeframe

The cost-share program began in 2022 and is now open for applicants. If you have questions about the cost-share program, contact us at

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The Delmarva Chicken Association (DCA) Vegetative Environmental Buffers Program was created to help with air quality improvements on chicken farms in Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the Eastern Shore of Virginia. DCA assumed responsibility for the program in 2006 after its creation by the University of Delaware.
The planting of trees around chicken houses has both air quality and water quality benefits. Properly designed vegetative environmental buffers with farm-specific plants -- trees, shrubs and warm season grasses -- help capture air emissions from chicken houses. Additionally, these vegetative environmental buffers can absorb nutrients in the soil and water around chicken houses and help prevent the movement of nutrients to adjacent waters.
Vegetative environmental buffers also let growers reduce the time and expense of mowing grass. And DCA is also pioneering the adaption of pollinator-friendly vegetative environmental buffers, which promote crop pollination on top of their other advantages. In 2017, DCA was awarded a grant from Bayer's Feed A Bee program to help growers on Delmarva plant pollinator-friendly vegetative environmental buffers. Beginning in 2019, we've collaborated with the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance to research which pollinator-friendly plant species work best for growers, and converted high-maintenance mowed areas to low-maintenance pollinator-plot meadows all across Delmarva. This guide helps growers add pollinator-friendly buffers to their farms and transition lawns to meadows, including in swales between chicken houses.
Since 2006, the DCA Vegetative Environmental Buffers Coordinator has worked with hundreds of growers and overseen the designs of vegetative environmental buffers, helped growers navigate the systems of cost-share programs, and identified contractors to help with the plantings.
Delmarva chicken growers can contact us at or 302-856-9037 to learn more about our VEB program.

Useful Documents

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