BUTLER, Pa. – The annual Farm City Banquet was recently held at the Butler County Community College.
This is an annual event where county farmers spend the evening with local Rotarians and conservation groups for an annual awards banquet.
The speaker was Frank Matis, director of Butler County’s Emergency Management Agency. Matis said in a post-Sept. 11 world, municipalities have developed plans for how to handle disasters such as possible terrorist attacks, flooding and other emergencies.
Farm tour. Butler County Commissioner James Kennedy and Luke Fritz, director of the Farm Service Agency, praised the farmers participating in the annual farm tour.
Paul and Bonnie Bergbigler, Leroy and Mary Bergbigler, Ralph and Darla Bergbigler, and Tim and Lori Welter were honored for their contributions to making the 2005 farm tour a success.
Sid Schiever. In addition to other conservation district awards, the annual Bullshipper Award was presented to Sid Schiever, long-time dairy farmer from Harmony, Pa.
The special award was presented by Sid Schiever’s daughter, Kathy Hartzell, the recipient of the Bullshipper Award last year.
Schiever has been a supporter of improving agriculture and community relations. He has served many years as the Butler County Farm Bureau legislative chair to communicate important issues to the local, county, state and national elected officials.
Schiever has served on the Butler County Farm Bureau board and is a past president.
He was a member of the local Farm Bureau Advisory Council.
He has assisted with Butler County dairy promotion and also as board member and president of the Butler County Dairy Herd Improvement Association.
Schiever has received the Butler County Cooperator Farmer of the Year twice.
He has been a lifetime dairy farmer, opening the farm many times to tours for children, special interest groups and foreign visitors.
The Schievers operated a retail dairy store for 32 years. He continues to farm with his son, Mike, and family near Harmony.
Conservationist. The Conservation Farmer of the Year is presented each year to a farmer who has followed a plan to implement conservation practices on the land.
This year the Butler County Conservation District honored the Leroy Bergbigler Dairy Farm as Conservation Farmer of the Year.
The Bergbiglers own 280 acres, growing hay, corn and barley to feed their 225 dairy cattle.
The milk herd totals 125 cows (mostly Holsteins), with 100 replacement heifers and calves.
A drive-through free-stall barn was constructed in 1997 and an innovative double-eight milking parlor was finished in 2000.
Last year, a calf facility was built on-site to house replacement heifers.
Besides installing numerous conservation practices on the land, the Bergbiglers strive to provide excellent cow and calf care.
The Bergbiglers were one of the stops on this year’s Butler County Farm Tour.
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