HARRISBURG, Pa. — Tom Calvert of Berlin, Somerset County, was inducted into the Pennsylvania Livestock Association Hall of Fame Oct. 3 during the 57th Keystone International Livestock Exposition in Harrisburg.
The Hall of Fame award honors excellence in animal agriculture and leaders in local, state, national and international endeavors.
Greene Co. native
Raised on his family’s sheep and dairy farm in Spraggs, Greene County, Calvert graduated from Penn State with a degree in animal husbandry in 1972. He served as an extension agent in Somerset County before joining the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
He was county executive director for the USDA-Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (now the Farm Service Agency) for 11 years and a conservation agronomist and pasture management specialist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Project Grass founder
With his knowledge of grazing and belief in its benefits to agriculture and the environment, Calvert helped found Project Grass in 1980, a program that promotes rotational grazing and helps farmers implement grazing systems on their operations. He served as the program’s first coordinator until his retirement in 1995.
Calvert, along with his brother-in-law Larry Shober, developed a flock of purebred Hampshires in 1966, later adding a show flock of Shropshires.
They grew their flock into a commercial enterprise with as many 120 Katahdin and Dorper ewes lambing each spring. Today, their operation maintains 50-60 grass-fed ewes.
Calvert is an active member and former officer of the Pennsylvania Livestock Association, Pennsylvania Forage and Grassland Council, Pennsylvania Sheep and Wool Growers Association, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and was a charter member of the Penn State Stockman’s Club.
Past winners’ photos are displayed in the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.