Juniata County Farm Bureau monthly report

Hello and happy spring! Yesterday morning when I walked out the door, I was happy to smell spring!

A big thank you to everyone who donated to the Farmers Care Juniata County Farm Bureau Food Drive. Normally, donations for this program are given to the Hershey Ronald McDonald House – and glossy paper collected throughout the year has been donated there. However, this year that Ronald McDonald House is undergoing renovations and did not have room for a lot of donations so the decision was made to donate this year’s items to the Juniata County Food Pantry. Totals on donations aren’t in yet, but thank you again to all who donated for another successful year! And a big thank you to Selina Hoffman for all of her efforts to collect donations again this year! The Farmers Care program recognizes how farmers care for their communities and the food they produce. To date, since the Farmers Care/Food Checkout Program of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau began in 1998, over one million dollars worth of goods have been donated to Ronald McDonald Houses and food pantries across the state.

March is a big month for agriculture recognition. The week of March 4th was Local Government Week where county farm bureau members are encouraged to have contact with their local officials. Local government and agriculture go hand in hand. Many township supervisors and other local officials are also farmers and there are so many government decisions made at the local level that have a huge impact on agriculture within our communities. It’s important to have a good working relationship with our local officials.

March 14th is recognized as National Ag Day where farmers and agriculture in general are celebrated. Shortly thereafter, Ag Literacy Week is recognized the week of March 18. Volunteers from the Juniata County Farm Bureau and the Juniata County Dairy Promotion Committee read to Kindergarten through third grade classrooms in both county elementary schools and Juniata Mennonite School in celebration of this week. This reading program, coordinated by the Pennsylvania Friends of Ag, the non-profit arm of the farm bureau, chooses a book each year to be read to students and is accompanied by an activity to make students more aware of how agriculture affects their everyday lives. This year’s book was “Right This Very Minute.”

Another reading program associated with the farm bureau is the FARM-tastic Book Program. This program is coordinated by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee and also distributes a specific book each year to area schools and libraries. This year’s book is “The Tree Farmer,” which looks at a topic not always associated with agriculture – forestry. Forestry is a part of agriculture though and is a major industry in Pennsylvania and Juniata County. Thank you to Beth and Scott Ehrisman, Ethan and Lindsey Shoop, and Ray and Linda Geissinger for donating books this year. This year’s books will be donated to each public elementary school, Juniata Mennonite School and the Juniata County Public Library.

Rural Roads Safety Week is the week of April 14. Ray Geissinger is again making arrangements with the county schools for students to participate in an on-the-farm assembly showcasing the issues associated with farm vehicles and equipment on rural roads. Spring is a busy time for farmers and there is more farm equipment moving on roads during this time, so extra caution is needed by everyone on the road to ensure the safety of all when coming upon these slow-moving vehicles.

Did you know?

If you are driving 55 miles per hour and come upon a tractor moving 15 miles per hour, it only takes five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between you and the tractor. Drive carefully and stay safe this spring!

Thanks for reading and, until next time, remember to thank a farmer!