Pennsylvania Young Farmers hold conference

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SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — Shippensburg was the site of the 2017 Winter Conference of the PA Young Farmers Association Feb. 7-9, hosted by the Shippensburg Young Farmers chapter.

The “Media Blitz” kicked off the conference when Spokesperson for Agriculture contestant Ayla Blatt of Kutztown visited with shoppers at the local Weis Market and chose one to receive free groceries. Blatt also presented a speech later that day at the conference telling “What Agriculture Means to Me.”

The conference continued with four educational workshops.

Speakers

“What’s in it for me? Farmers and local government” was presented by Judy Chambers, Penn State Extension educator.

The second workshop was on sprayer calibration, presented by Tracey Harpster, Penn State Extension educator.

An explanation of the PA Preferred program was given by Ashlee Dugan, of PDA, explaining the benefits to farmers participating and how to apply.

Cassie Yost, Franklin County Extension dairy educator, spoke on the new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) under the Food Safety and Modernization Act.

Channel 27 weatherman Eric Finkenbinder compared farming to meteorology and spoke of the importance of weather forecasting to agriculture.

Tours

Bob Keefer opened his Hard Earned Acres in Shippensburg to the members and told about milking his 640 cows three times a day in the double-16 parlor. His anaerobic digester supplies all the electricity for his operation and home.

The second tour was to Railside Farm, the Martin family, working 600 acres in the heart of the Cumberland Valley. They milk 270 cows with five Lely robotic milkers.

Next year’s conference will be Feb. 6-8 at Seven Springs Resort, hosted by Somerset County Young Farmers.

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