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Conte Award Continues With $5,000 Donation

Posted: May 12, 2016

In 2006, Beth Marshall of Homer City, Indiana County, wanted to do something to honor her late mother Lorraine Conte. With a $10,000 donation to the Indiana County 4-H program, the Conte Organic 4-H Award was established.
Pictured is Elizabeth Bruner, 2015 winner of the Conte Organic 4-H Award.

Pictured is Elizabeth Bruner, 2015 winner of the Conte Organic 4-H Award.

Marshall was interested in the principals of organic/sustainable gardening and farming and wanted to be able to pass that knowledge on to 4-H members with hopes that they would use those same principals in their future agricultural endeavors. Since that time, 24 yearly individual financial awards have been given to county members who conducted projects to apply for the awards, and seven different members have been able to attend the annual conference of the PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture. Attendance at this conference was a stipulation of the award program, and over 1,000 people gather each year in State College to learn more about sustainable agriculture.

The 2015 winner was Elizabeth Bruner of the Gordon 4-H Club. “My mom and I attended many workshops including growing and processing vegetable oil from seeds, home scale grain growing, managing pests and diseases for vegetable crops in a changing climate, lavender farming, and growing and handling onions and winter squash for storage. Thursday's evening dinner was prepared using all organic and/or sustainably grown meats, fruits, and vegetables provided by PASA members. Everything was very good!  I made lots of new friends - many from outside the borders of Pennsylvania, and visited with old friends we met last year.”

Marshall has agreed to continue the program with an additional $5,000 donation this year so that even more 4-H members can learn about sustainable agriculture in the future.