Structure and Governance

The DLLC is a voluntary, unincorporated association of individuals and organizations directed and controlled by its Steering Committee. DLLC currently operates through the facilities of Solutions from the Land (SfL), a 501 (c) (3) organization focused on land-based solutions to global challenges. SfL functions as the fiduciary agent and legal host of the DLLC.

Vision and Goals
Friends of DLLC
Steering Committee
Executive Committee
Chair and Vice Chairs
Decision Making
Budget Formulation
Financial Reports and Expenditure Approval
Support Staff
Creation of Action Teams and Workgroups
Communication Protocols
Annex One: Rules of Conduct

The Delmarva Land & Litter Challenge (DLLC) is a knowledge sharing and problem-solving platform where collaborating partners work together to develop strategies to abate poultry related nutrient pollution on the Delmarva Peninsula without exacerbating problems in adjacent regions.

Delmarva Land & Litter Challenge members believe that significant progress can be achieved in meeting the nutrient reduction goals that have been established for the agricultural sector. Working together they are committed to supporting pathways for land management that will improve the health and productivity of agriculture and the Bay, while strengthening the economy that preserves and protects the region’s rural cultural heritage. DLLC members embrace the following vision and goals: Delmarva farmers and their agri-business partners are respected stewards of the land, guardians of natural resources and champions of the rural cultural heritage in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. By 2025:

  1. Delmarva farming and poultry complex becomes a national model as an environmentally friendly and economically sustainable regional agricultural system;
  2. Delmarva agriculture is regionally neutral in importing and exporting nutrients, and wherever possible, nutrients are recycled locally to support sustainable agricultural operations;
  3. Nutrients are utilized in farming operations without negative environmental impacts on land and in adjacent waters; and,
  4. Growers are rewarded for producing high value food, feed, fiber, clean energy, and ecosystem services.

Adopted 11/7/16, amended 1/24/18

Any individual, organization, business, agency or institution that embraces the Delmarva Land & Litter Challenge vision, goals and operating procedures is invited to become a “Friend of the Challenge”. Friends are not required to pay fees or dues to join the Challenge, however financial contributions are welcome. Friends commit to:

  • Share reports and information disseminated by the Challenge with their respective members or peers;
  • Provide input to the Steering Committee on ways the Challenge goals can be attained;
  • Be publicly listed as a “Friend” of the Challenge;
  • Participate in DLLC public forums;
  • Collaborate in a constructive manner with other Challenge members, and support the consensus based decision making process that the DLLC follows; and
  • Conform to the DLLC rules of conduct (Annex One).

If there is any question about whether a “Friend” is an appropriate collaborating partner, the Steering Committee will decide.

The DLLC is guided by a Steering Committee composed of a balanced mix of the “Friends” of the Challenge. The Steering Committee’s primary responsibilities include:

  • Providing a mechanism for inter-partner and member communication, coordination and cooperation in support of the DLLC goals;
  • Identifying priority issues and tasks to be pursued by the DLLC;
  • Receiving and taking action on reports and/or recommendations advanced by DLLC Action Teams or workgroups;
  • Electing a Chair and one to two Vice Chairs representing a balance of agricultural and environmental interests. The Chair and Vice Chair leaders will rotate between the agricultural and environmental/conservation communities. The Chair and Vice Chair(s) are elected annually and may serve three, consecutive one-year terms;
  • Developing objectives and strategies to achieve the DLLC vision;
  • Updating and prioritizing goals, establishing timelines for expected achievement of goals, and vetting goals with DLLC members;
  • Annually reviewing the DLLC operating procedures/principles, making adjustments as necessary to ensure the effective functioning of the Challenge; and
  • Reviewing and approving significant changes to the DLLC website or other public messaging in the name of the DLLC.
  • Steering Committee members are nominated by the Executive Committee and voted in by the Steering Committee. Steering Committee members serve one-year terms and may be re-elected. The Steering Committee will be no larger than 30 members (Co-Chairs plus members).

The Executive Committee is the “management and oversight body” of the DLLC, responsible for ensuring its effective functioning. The Executive Committee is composed of the Chair and Vice Chair(s) of the DLLC Steering Committee plus four to five at-large Steering Committee members elected annually by the same body, making a total of seven. The Executive Committee’s at-large members must represent the diversity of interests represented by the Friends of DLLC. The Executive Committee’s primary responsibilities include:

  • Approving candidates for listing as a Friend of DLLC;
  • Nominating members for election to the Steering Committee;
  • Establishing DLLC Action Teams/Workgroups and ensuring that their work remains in alignment with priorities and objectives established by the Steering Committee;
  • Reviewing and approving annual DLLC budgets, based on approved goals and work plans;
  • Monitoring expenditures against approved budgets;
  • Organizing and implementing fund development work;
  • Creating and vetting any public statements issued in the name of the DLLC (This function can be delegated to co-chairs and/or staff);
  • Monitoring and reporting progress on DLLC initiatives;
  • Organizing and managing DLLC meetings;
  • Coordinating DLLC public forums;
  • Managing and reviewing the performance of DLLC contractors (staff) and Project Coordinator;
  • Reviewing and approving grant applications; and
  • Determining and recommending to the Steering Committee if restructuring or termination of DLLC is appropriate.

The DLLC Chair presides over DLLC Steering and Executive Committee meetings. Additionally the Chair and Vice Chair(s):

  • Contribute to the development of, and approve, meeting agendas;
  • Appoint Chairs and members to DLLC Action Teams and Work Groups;
  • Serve as DLLC’s official liaisons to external organizations and agencies; and
  • Designate or serve as primary spokespersons of the DLLC.

Standard Operating Procedures 

DLLC makes decisions through consensus agreement. If a decision cannot be reached by consensus, a “super” voting majority i.e. 2/3rds of any DLLC body (Steering Committee, Executive Committee, Action Team or Workgroup) will determine the outcome. Prior to a vote, every effort to reach consensus must be made. If a decision cannot be reached by consensus, the dissenters will be asked to draft an alternative approach for the consideration of the group. If alternatives do not facilitate the achievement of consensus, a vote can be taken to establish an official position.

All DLLC meetings are open:

  1. Friends – periodic meetings of DLLC Friends will be organized by the Executive Committee to report progress, share developments and identify/prioritize work needed to support the successful attainment of the DLLC vision and goals.
  2. Steering Committee – The DLLC Steering Committee will meet as needed, but will strive to hold quarterly in-person meetings.
  3. Executive Committee – The DLLC Executive Committee will meet in-person as needed, supplemented by periodic teleconference calls.

An annual budget will be prepared by the Executive Committee, and submitted for approval by the Steering Committee.

The fiduciary agent (SfL) will produce a quarterly financial report detailing DLLC income and expenses, and project to date totals. These reports shall be reviewed by the Executive Committee and disseminated to the Steering Committee by the DLLC Finance Chair, who will be a member of, and elected by, the Executive Committee.
Invoices for expenses incurred will be reviewed and approved by the Finance Chair prior to payment. Any non-budgeted expenditures must be approved in advance by the Executive Committee.

DLLC is staffed through in-kind contributions of members, and dedicated service providers as decided by the Executive Committee.

Responsibility for creating any DLLC Action Team or Workgroup lies with the DLLC Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will define the mission and duration of any team, and offer recommendations for its leaders and members. Workgroups are accountable to the Executive Committee. Current DLLC Action Teams and their missions follow:

Mass Balance

  1. Calculate—based on current information—the mass balance of nutrients generated on or coming into the Delmarva Peninsula;
  2. Construct a framework plan and implementation strategy for initiating an ongoing integrated program that uses validated “on the ground” and regularly updated data and proven methodologies to model nutrients at all levels.

Innovative Solutions

  1. Work with DLLC members, and other stakeholders as appropriate, to identify and prioritize unmet needs and functions in addressing poultry nutrient pollution on the Delmarva Peninsula;
  2. Identify options (near, mid and longer term), including preliminary cost estimates and potential funding sources, for how these needs and functions could best be addressed (i.e. through existing institution(s), and/or new collaborations); and
  3. Identify options for management/governance models (based on investigations of other similar collaboratives that could help support or provide a basis of information, as well as initiatives/organizations that have demonstrated success that can be emulated), including estimated costs and potential funding sources for each option.

Transport Solutions

  1. Examine the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia manure/poultry litter transport programs and develop recommendations for how they can be streamlined and made more “user friendly”, while also ensuring environmental improvements; and
  2. Explore the pros/cons, and feasibility, of establishing a regional transport or litter exchange program for Delmarva.

Development Committee

  1. Objective: Provide leadership to the efforts to develop resources (financial and in- kind) for the work of the Challenge by:
    • • Establishing a plan and process for resource development
    • Assuming working responsibility for the execution of the process
  2. Structure:
    • Committee of three (3) led by a chair with two other members. At least one member must be from the agricultural community and one from the environmental community. Members are appointed by the Executive Committee;
    • Works under the direction of, and reports to, the Executive Committee;
    • Works in collaboration with contract staff in developing plan and its execution;
    • Enlists the assistance of other members of the Steering Committee for outreach to potential donors; and
    • Meets at least quarterly to review progress in achieving plan goals, with subsequent reporting to Executive Committee.

DLLC participants are expected to be honest with one another, commit to consensus building and a high standard of conduct, and act not in their personal interest, but solely in the best interest of the DLLC.

  • Steering Committee Member Recognition – members agree to have their name and organization logo displayed on the DLLC website, reports, official communication, etc.
  • Steering Committee Members agree to use the email group list (listserv), website, and shared Google Drive to facilitate interaction and collaboration.
  • Media relations – All official communications on behalf of the DLLC with media (print, online, and on-air) should be run through the Executive Committee. The DLLC Co- Chairs will be identified as the primary spokespersons for the DLLC in any of the above forms of public communication.
  • While within DLLC events, each member agrees to work for the good of the DLLC, outside of DLLC meetings members speak as representatives of their respective organizations. All DLLC Steering Committee members will agree to abide as much as possible by the group’s overarching, agreed-upon messages.
  • As participants in the Delmarva Land & Litter Challenge, we commit to each other to:
  • Maintain a focus on our shared vision;
  • Advance and practice teamwork;
  • Share leadership and ownership, credit and responsibility1;
  • Promote mutual respect, trust and honesty;
  • Seek to be a “Do-Tank”, driven by our actions, instead of simply a “Think-Tank”2;
  • Follow the “Yes-If”, rather than “No-Because” principle”3;
  • Listen to each other with empathy;
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff;
  • Get mad and then get over it!4;
  • Not allow adverse facts stand in the way of good decisions;
  • Maintain a sense of vulnerability to combat complacency and arrogance5;
  • If it’s aggravating, talk about it;
  • We are professional and will act professionally;
  • Bring the parking lot conversations to the Delmarva Challenge leadership table;
  • Have fun doing the impossible.6


1 Conservation Partnership- Statement of Cooperation
2 AG Kawamura- farmer and Co-Chair, Solutions from the Land
3 Newt Gingrich, former Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
4 Colin Powell, retired General
5 Mike Mullane- Space Shuttle astronaut
6 Walt Disney, futurist