Ray Diebold Passes

Ray DieboldPSCFO is saddened to learn of the passing of Ray Diebold of Sinking Valley and, more recently, Altoona on June 8. Ray was a faithful member of the PSCFO board up until a year ago. Ray will be remembered for his dedication and hard work for the dairy industry and his wry sense of humor. He was a colleague and friend to many in agriculture and his leadership and good nature will be sorely missed.

Ray’s full obituary and service information is below:

Raymond J. Diebold, 75, Altoona, formerly of Sinking Valley died Monday morning at his home. He was born in Lockport, New York, son of the late Bruce W. and Ruth C. (Groff) Diebold.

He married Judith L. Ocker on June 22, 1963 at the University of Maryland Chapel, College Park, Md. Surviving are his bride; a daughter, Karen Diebold (Terry Conrad) of Juniata two sons, Kenneth (Cheryl) of Sinking Valley and Kevin (Angela) of Tyrone; four grandchildren, Mikayla, Madelyn and Karly Diebold and Corey Conrad; a step granddaughter, Kaitlyn DeArmitt; a step great granddaughter, Abigail DeArmitt; a sister, Dian (William) Johnson of Elkton, Md.; and two brothers, Thomas (Betty) and Daniel (Carol) both of Elkton, Md.; and many nieces and nephews.

Ray served with the US Army Reserves. He attended the University of Maryland where he studied Agronomy and Diary Science. He retired as a dairy farmer at Deer Line Farm, Sinking Valley after 35 years of dedication. Ray became a member of Dairylea Cooperative, Inc. in 1972 where he remained an active member of the board of directors for more than 30 years and was also active with various agricultural venues including Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation and the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program.

Ray was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bellwood where he served as an usher and a member of Knights of Columbus Msgr. O`Malley Chapter, Bellwood.

Friends will be received from 2-5pm Friday, June 12, 2015 at Jon C. Russin Funeral Home, Inc. Bellwood where a vigil for the deceased will also be held and from 10-11am Saturday, June 13, 2015 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bellwood. A funeral mass will be held at 11am Saturday at the church, Rev. David H. Roesch as celebrant.

The family suggests that contributions in Ray’s memory be made to FFA Tyrone Chapter c/o Tyrone Area School District Attention: Ag Program 1001 Clay Avenue Tyrone, PA 16686 or Home Nursing Hospice 201 Chestnut Avenue Altoona, PA 16601.


Cheese-Making Growing In Pennsylvania

Cheese Sue MillerCHESTER SPRINGS – Sue Miller loves hanging out in her cheese cave.

“Sometimes I get attached to certain wheels of cheese,” said Miller, co-owner of Birchrun Hills Farm, a dairy farm in Chester Springs. “And my husband says, ‘You know, it’s meant to be sold.’ ”

She knows.

Her love of cheese grew out of necessity. About nine years ago, declining milk prices and rising costs had Miller and her husband, Ken, worried they might lose the small farm they hoped one day to pass on to their two sons.

Like other small dairy operators across the country, the first-generation farmers decided they needed to innovate to survive.

Read more in the Philadelphia Inquirer …

PSCFO Meets with Wolf Policy Chief Hanger

John-HangerHERSHEY – On December 15, several members of the PSCFO Board met privately with John Hanger, former DEP Secretary under former Governor Rendell and now Secretary of Policy and Planning for incoming Governor Tom Wolf.  Mr. Hanger said that he welcomes policy input from the PA State Council of Farm Organizations to the Wolf Administration.  According to PSCFO President Brian Snyder, this may be the first time PSCFO has met with an official at this level of an incoming administration.  Among the topics discussed were:

  • Need for adequate General Government Operations funds for the PA Department of Agriculture
  • Preservation of certain line items in PDA’s budget such as the Centers of Excellence, agricultural research, PA Preferred, and others
  • Importance of consistency in immigration rules. While a federal issue, state legislative initiatives could create an even more confusing set of rules for agricultural producers

Wolf Transistion Team includes PSCFO Members

Wolf transition 180x180HARRISBURG – The Wolf Transition Team for PDA includes six individuals from PSCFO member organizations: Chairman Russell Redding, Dean of Agricultural and Environmental Studies, Delaware Valley University.; Dr. MeeCee Baker (Versant Strategies); PSCFO Board member Hannah Smith-Brubaker (PA Farmers Union); Russell Biggica (PA Rural Electric Association); Joel Rotz (PA Farm Bureau); and Robert Maiden (PA Association of Conservation Districts).

Pechart Recognized, Huber Re-elected

pechart_bioPSCFO 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
huberPenn State Board of Trustees. Congrats Betsy!

Member News

PACD-SCC Joint Conference

On July 10 PA Association of Conservation Districts and State Conservation Commission are having a Joint Conference in Blair County. Details: molly-burns@pacd.org

Hunger Free PA

Hunger Free PA will be a recipient of funds generated from the 2d Annual Capitol All-Stars Softball September 23 at Harrisburg’s Metro Park sponsored by PA Cable Network, PA Legislative Service, Quantum Communications and others. Players are all PA legislators. Details: 717/724-3196

Member News & Notes

  • Center for Dairy Excellence announced that post-secondary students pursuing a dairy-related career can apply for one of seven $3,000 Student Leader Scholarships supported by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation and the PA Dairymen’s Association. Apply by June 1. Click here for more information.
  • PA State Grange has two youth camps scheduled this summer at Camp Sylvan Hills in Howard, PA: June 27-29 Youth Camp and June 30-July 5 Junior Camp. Details: 717/737-8855
  • PA Farm Bureau is taking registrations for its Fueling Agriculture & Cultivating Excellence (FACE) conference for young farmers at Bucknell University June 16-20. Details: http://www.pfb.com/images/stories/2014_FACE_YC_RegBochure.pdf
  • PA Assn. for Sustainable Agriculture’s seventh annual Bike Fresh Bike Local fundraising effort to connect consumers to locally grown food starts June 1 (Allegheny County), Details: www.pasafarming.org