Cumberland County Couple Win PA Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Ag Award
Posted: November 16, 2012
(Hershey) – Jason and Sherisa Nailor of Cumberland County have been selected Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s recipients of the 2012 Young Farmer and Rancher “Excellence in Ag” Award during PFB’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Hershey.
The Nailors were dubbed the winners based on their overall involvement and leadership in agriculture and Farm Bureau.
Jason Nailor operates a 100-cow dairy operation in Mechanicsburg, where he manages the entire operation, milking, feeding, breeding, and caring for the cows and replacement heifers. Jason has been able to nearly double the number of milking cows through breeding since taking over the farm about four years ago. Jason also grows 40 acres of corn and 25 acres of hay to feed his cows. Meanwhile, Sherisa Nailor is an agriculture science teacher at Big Spring High School in Newville, where she has worked to grow curricular options and expand the high school’s FFA chapter. During the past six years, enrollment in agriculture science classes has increased 35%, while the FFA membership at her school has nearly doubled.
Jason is active in the Cumberland County Farm Bureau, serving on the board of directors, YF&R Committee and the Local Affairs Committee. He is also an active member of the FFA Alumni, works in the community to educate youngsters without farming experience about the benefits of the agriculture industry. He also hosts farm tours, helping to further inform school kids and adults about farming practices and the commitment of farmers to produce safe and healthy food for consumers.
Aside from teaching more than 200 students each year about the many facets of agriculture in her high school classes, Sherisa is an officer in the state FFA alumni, which provides opportunities and support to agriculture’s future leaders. She is also an officer in the state professional association for agricultural educators, serving as a committee chair for the national association. Both Jason and Sherisa participate in workshops designed to advance technologies and production practices and assist with advocacy campaigns to support agriculture on the local, county and state level.
“We’d like to shift our focus and leadership to impacting agriculture on a local level. We hope to work more closely with the local FFA chapters and 4-H clubs to train for competitions, hold judging clinics. On the farm, we are looking forward to gaining full ownership of the dairy operation and expanding our herd to 100 milking cows,” said Jason and Sherisa Nailor.
The other finalist was Sarrah Biddle of Blair County. Biddle is a dairy nutritionist and marketing manager for her family’s farm supply store and feed mill, which allows her to help local farms succeed through their cropping, nutrition, breeding, and calving programs. Biddle is also able to learn about the newest trends and products in agriculture and pass that information on to other farmers through her purchasing and marketing duties.
Biddle, who also cares for the calves on her family’s dairy farm, enjoys teaching members of the community and elementary school children about the dairy industry and how agriculture impacts their lives during tours and other events on the farm. Biddle is a member of the Blair County Farm Bureau and is excited about how the organization is able to work with lawmakers to achieve positive outcomes for the farming community.
As the winners, the Nailors receive $500 from General Motors, an expense paid trip to PFB’s 2013 State YF&R Leadership Conference, lodging and registration to the American Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting in Nashville in January, a gift card for lodging at Choice Hotels and a prize from Grainger.
Hundreds of farmers from across the state attended Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 62nd Annual Meeting at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center from November 12-14, to set policy for the statewide organization on issues affecting farm and rural families.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of more than 55,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.