ROCK SPRINGS – The 2014 Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences AG PROGRESS Days August 12-14 in Rock Springs features a wide variety of programs, several of which are listed below. (Complete listing at http://agsci.psu.edu/apd/events)
- Marcellus Shale: August 12 includes no fewer than five programs including Post-Leasing Issues for Landowners and Negotiating Natural Gas Pipeline Easements in Agricultural Land. In addition, DEP will present a program on how Marcellus Shale natural gas resources are regulated as well as describing proposed revisions currently under consideration.
- Public Policy: Farm Bill Dairy Margin Protection; Public Forum on 2014 Farm Bill and State of PA Agriculture; House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee Public Hearing. These are all on August 13.
- Conservation/Environment: USDA Agricultural Research Service is presenting a program August 14 on Riparian conservation for managed grazing lands. It ties conservation objectives (habitat, nutrients, sediments) to agricultural production objectives (watering source, maximizing land productivity) with management options (moveable fence, flash grazing).ROCK SPRINGS
HARRISBURG – On August 14 at 10:00 a.m. in the Red Barn, PDA Secretary Greig has invited members of the Pa. State Council of Farm Organizations to participate in a Town Hall meeting. This will be an open dialogue between the Department and attendees.
Among other things, discussions will include FDA regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), implementation of the Farm Bill, the PDA Budget for the state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014, and a host of other regulatory topics.
Other topics of interest to PSCFO members such as the EPA’s proposed water definition and the feral hog issue may also be addressed.
RSVPs are needed because of limited seating. Ben Junkin 717/787-5789, email@example.com
ROCK SPRINGS – An Ag Progress Days staple are the research tours ranging from habitat for deer and other wildlife to management tactics for high yielding soybeans.
Some other tours include woodlot management, stream (riparian) buffers and native prairie grasses, short rotation woody crops for biomass, Penn State’s Deer Research Center; pasture management, American Chestnut Foundation plantings, etc.
In addition, a tour of the High Tunnel Research & Education Facility demonstrates current production systems and horticultural crops that can be produced in high tunnels. Complete list of tours is found at http://agsci.psu.edu/apd/events/tours
PSCFO Recognizes Pechart
PSCFO’s June Council meeting recognized former PDA official Michael Pechart who served under Governors of both parties for eleven years and who retired from PDA earlier this year to take a private sector position. He was a huge resource for PDA and for the entire Agricultural Community.
Huber Re-Elected to PSU Board
In addition, Immediate Past PSCFO President Betsy Huber was re-elected to the
Penn State Board of Trustees. Congrats Betsy!
USDA announced that nominations may be made for Farm Service Agency county committees starting June 15 and closing August 1, 2014. Details and nomination for FSA-669A: www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Elections will be held in the fall.
Re-elected were officers Brian Snyder (PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture) as President, Eugene Richard (Mushroom Farmers of PA) as Vice President, and Jeff Nogan (PA Cattlemen’s Association) as Secretary-Treasurer. Re-elected was Gregg Robertson (PA Landscape & Nursery Association) to a second term.
Two new Board members are:
- Carl Meiss (PA State Grange)
- Hannah Smith- Brubaker (PA Farmers’ Union)
In other actions:
- Briefings from PDA confirmed that the FDA proposed Food Safety Rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act would be re-drafted by the Federal agency in great part because of advocacy by PDA, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and farm groups such as PA Vegetable Growers Association, PA Farm Bureau, PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture, and PSCFO. There is a separate animal feed regulation also being considered by FDA and PennAg briefed the Board and Council on what it seeks to do. One issue is that a farm is defined as a facility which means that the Food and drug Administration would have authority to inspect and impose sanctions on almost every PA farm.
- The Cornucopia Taste of PA Reception drew a record number of exhibitors from farm groups and a record number of approximately 100 legislators.
The annual meeting of the PSCFO in Harrisburg resulted in significant front-page publicity in Lancaster Farming magazine. http://www.lancasterfarming.com/-State-Ag-Council-Celebrates-Political-Trifecta-#.U0-1VKKg4k_ This underscores the increased visibility and advocacy of PSCFO and it is something of which we all can all be proud.
The Council voted unanimously to rate all three Penn State Trustee candidates as qualified. Two are incumbents seeking re-election, past PSCFO President Betsy Huber and current Trustees Chairman Keith Masser. The third candidate is former state representative Jess Stairs (R-Westmoreland). All three made presentations to the Board.
If you would like copies of their bios, please contact PSCFO at firstname.lastname@example.org.