Joyce Herncane Named Honorary County Agent

Joyce Herncane of Schellsburg in Bedford County was recently named an Honorary County Agent by the PA Association of County Agricultural Agents (PACAA) at their annual meeting held in State College. She was honored because of her support of Penn State Extension and agriculture in Bedford County.

Melanie Barkley, Penn State Extension Educator from Bedford County, presents Joyce Herncane the Honorary County Agent award at the recent annual meeting of the PA Association of County Agricultural Agents held in State College.

Melanie Barkley, Penn State Extension Educator from Bedford County, presents Joyce Herncane the Honorary County Agent award at the recent annual meeting of the PA Association of County Agricultural Agents held in State College.

“Joyce provided a tremendous service to all Extension Educators through her work to research the history of A.B. Ross and find a location to erect the Historic Marker in Schellsburg,” said Melanie Barkley, Penn State Extension Educator from Bedford County who presented the award to Herncane.

PACAA applied to the PA Historical and Museum Commission to have a historic marker placed in Schellsburg, where A.B. Ross began his career as the first county agent in the country. He was appointed by the federal government in 1910 to work with local farmers. Herncane and the Bedford County Historical Society supported the erection of the marker.

Herncane’s research found that Abram Bunn Ross, or Bunn as he was known to the local farmers at the time, started out his career as a lawyer. Bunn moved back to Bedford County where he was first exposed to agriculture on his grandparents’ farm. He saw that the soils in the area were poor and that farmers needed assistance learning to improve the soils which in turn would improve their crops. Much of his original Extension work was with fruit growers and dairy producers. He interpreted research from Penn State and taught that information to the farmers to improve agricultural production.

Herncane not only conducted valuable research on Ross’s Extension work, but also identified a suitable location along Route 30 in Schellsburg to erect the marker. In addition to working with the land owners, she arranged the dedication ceremony, including speakers and a reception. The reception was held in Juneproduction.