Burning wood versus fossil fuels will eliminate 700 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere yearly, the equivalent of about 155 mid-sized cars vanishing from the highway, according to Denise Bechdel, team leader for Energy and Environment for the Penn State Small Business Development Center. Bechdel assisted a local fruit farm with grant writing and environmental consulting on installing a biomass burner to heat greenhouses for growing vegetables.
Market season is nearly upon us! For consumers (and some very enthusiastic vendors), this time of year elicits shrikes of excitement and sheer joy as people line up to see which vendor has the early asparagus, rhubarb, or coveted dry beans preserved from fall harvest.
Summer is coming! That means it is time for Ag Explorers Day Camp. Read this review of Ag Camp by a teen counselor who has helped with camp from it's start.
As always, spring brings lots of activity, emotion, beauty and excitement! We, as Master Gardeners get to enjoy our own gardening activities, as well as help others learn how to enjoy theirs. In our quest for teaching, we have developed a spring craft series that will give participants an opportunity to create art that will enhance the beauty of the plants growing in the garden.
Tourists now have new reasons to visit Adams County thanks to the Wine & Fruit Trail, a self-guided tour of fruit growers, processors and sellers, as well as historic sites, B&Bs and restaurants
Every group has to make them, but too often we put off those pesky decisions. We talk in circles, get bogged down in details, repeat ourselves – all to avoid the moment of truth when we finally decide what to do.
A farmers’ use of heavy machinery has always been a common sight when passing a farm. Yet as machinery and innovations evolve, so do the practices of today’s producers.
A rural farming community such as Adams County has much to offer in ways of expertise, so with generations of knowledge it is only natural to expand, exchange and grow our skills alongside other farmers. This was the basic idea in 2011 when a Penn State Extension sponsored Young Grower Alliance (YGA) group traveled to the rural farming community of Talolinga through Project Gettysburg Leon.
In a land where every voice deserves a chance to be heard, the Farm Bureau is the strong and supportive voice of farmers. Affiliated with the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is an organization of farmers offering various services and information for members as well as legislative support at the local, state and national levels.
As the summer always has to come to an end, so does the Spotlight on Agriculture column which I have been fortunate enough to be able to provide to Adams County residents over the past few months. With students returning to school and producers preparing for a plentiful and busy fall harvest, it is ever so important to remember our wonderful and diverse local ag industry and the ways in which we can continue to support it.
While next year marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Adams County has more than one reason to celebrate. This year 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln signed the Morill Act creating 76 Land Grant Colleges to improve education in agriculture and mechanical arts throughout the US. This act has forever changed higher education and allowed for the growth of new generations of agricultural producers.
When enjoying ice cream made with tree-ripened peaches at a roadside farm market it’s easy to appreciate the local flavor of our community. However, what may not be realized are the unique partnerships and business savvy it took to get that food from seed to delicious first bite.
On a recent farm marketing tour a group of growers were able to experience the gamut of retail farm marketing from large corporations that incorporate small market aesthetics to small markets making full use of the mobile and internet tools available to them.
Economic development to some means larger businesses, more housing developments and increased populations, yet what does it mean to a rural economy such as Adams County. Planning and development is a careful balance among necessary conveniences, employment opportunities and a continuation of the quiet, country lifestyle. Since the downturn in the economy and in turn a slowdown in development, Adams County has been given a small window of opportunity to discover who we are and how to plan accordingly.
In America, the highest rate of new farm owners are of Latino or Hispanic origin and west coast states are already seeing this emerging trend as their new generation of farmers is a mostly Latino one. While Adams County has a small number of Latino farm operators and no Latino farm owners, the population overall is identified as 5.7% Latino or Hispanic and rises to 11.2% for the under 18 population.
The Adams County Agricultural and Natural Resource Center was an initiative spearheaded by Adams County producers and various ag agencies to bring together agencies serving the agricultural community under one sustainable roof. The seven offices within the commonly known ‘Ag Center’ address agricultural education for current and future farmers and conservation, research, technical and program support, farmland preservation, and proper use of agricultural lands within Adams County.
It is an undisputed fact that to every story there are two sides. When it comes to agriculture and our food system the two sides are producers and consumers or those who make food and those who eat it.
As a wave of awareness has swept over consumers in the last few years to better understand food production, it has also brought a new light on farming. With the average age of a principal farm operator in Adams County being 55 years old, along with resurgence for local foods; this is the time for a new generation of farmers to step up.