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Country Focus - September 2021

Published by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, 2021-09-09 13:32:24

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New Policies Adopted Page 10 A Pennsylvania Farm Bureau member publication Volume 30 | Number 1 | Jan. 2020 Farmer Engagement Critical In Chesapeake Bay Plan By Liam Migdail, [email protected] achieving its federally prescribed goals Farmers must be engaged in the planning process as Pennsylvania communities plan If farmers in the Chesapeake Bay for reducing nutrient and sediment how they will improve water quality locally and in the Chesapeake Bay. pollution in Pennsylvania waterways Watershed want their community’s plan that feed into the bay by 2025. Now, Doug Goodlander, the Pennsylvania county plans take a realistic approach, for improving water quality to be one attention turns to the 43 counties in Department of Environmental Royer said. that takes their needs into consideration, the bay watershed, each of which will Protection’s water program manager; they need to be engaged in the planning. develop its own action plan to identify Matthew Royer, director of Penn “Farmer leadership is really how the basic conservation strategies State’s Agriculture and Environment important to see what’s feasible at the That was a key take away from recommended in the WIP can be best Center; and Andrew Flinchbaugh, a local level,” he said. a panel discussion held during achieved at the local level. York County produce and crop farmer Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 69th and a Farm Bureau leader. All four Implementing the WIP will not be Annual Meeting in November to “There’s a great opportunity—but served on the steering committee that without its share of challenges. discuss the latest developments in there’s also a great need—for county developed the WIP and served on the Pennsylvania’s efforts to improve water Farm Bureaus and local farmers to be Agriculture Workgroup, which made Putting in place the recommended quality in the Chesapeake Bay. engaged in the local planning process,” recommendations to the state on the agriculture conservation measures will said John Bell, senior governmental parts of the plan related to agriculture. cost about $402 million a year and This year, the state finalized phase affairs counsel for PFB. available state funding for conservation three of its Watershed Improvement In a way, the development of the practices falls well short of that mark. Plan (or WIP), a road map of sorts Bell spoke on the panel along with WIP can serve as a model for creating Even with all of the recommendations for how the state will work towards sensible county action plans that implemented, Pennsylvania would still respond to the challenges communities fall short of meeting all of its pollution- House Passes USMCA and landowners will likely face, reduction goals, Bell said. To accept panelists said. Engaging farmers from Pennsylvania’s strategy, the U.S. Ratification of the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement—a new trade pact the outset, Goodlander said, helped Environmental Protection Agency will supported by Farm Bureau that would replace the North American Free Trade ensure that the measures recommended have to recognize and accept the major Agreement and expand market opportunities for American farmers—has in the WIP were feasible to implement, strides that Pennsylvania will make cleared a major hurdle in Congress. rather than ideas that could put farmers if the WIP is implemented while also out of business. being realistic about what’s feasible. The U.S. House voted 385 to 41 in December to ratify the trade deal, which was negotiated in 2018 between the President Donald Trump’s administration “Our goal was to develop something “There are a lot of good things and its counterparts in Canada and Mexico. The vote came after a deal was that was realistic, implementable and Pennsylvania can achieve under the reached between the leaders in the Democratic-controlled chamber and the effective,” he said. WIP,” Bell said. “It doesn’t get us fully Republican administration over changes to bring the measure to a vote. there but it does make a good-faith That’s also why the plan calls effort to get us there.” “This trade agreement could not come at a more critical time for U.S. for taking a bottoms up approach by agriculture,” American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said. “Farmers developing action plans at the local To help stretch limited resources, and ranchers have been hit with a perfect storm of low commodity prices, level, he said. It enables each community the WIP identifies priority practices weather disasters, trade disruptions and a severe downturn in the farm involved to identify its priorities for that are relatively easy for farmers to economy. The USMCA will provide continuity in the growth of the North improving water quality. implement but that provide the biggest American market and will strengthen our trading relationships with Canada bang for the buck in terms of pollution and Mexico.” “That’s what we’re trying to focus reduction, Royer said. Those include no on,” he said. “Where are our local till, cover cropping, the 4Rs (a nutrient Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said his chamber isn’t likely stream issues? And if we fix those, then management strategy involving the use to vote on the deal until after the separate issue of Trump’s impeachment trial, we’ll fix the bay.” of commercial fertilizer), and precision which as of Country Focus deadline, was not expected to start until January. feeding for dairy farms. As was the case in the development USMCA has been a key priority for Farm Bureau over the past year, of the statewide plan, farmers’ voices “These are really important especially as farmers have suffered financial losses as a result of trade disputes will be critical to making sure the and market uncertainty. (continued on page 4) The agreement is expected to increase U.S. agriculture exports by $2 billion and result in a $65 billion increase in gross domestic product. It also provides new market access for U.S. dairy and poultry, while maintaining the zero-tariff platform on all other agriculture products. And American dairy producers will have greater access to Canada’s protected market. Farmers Care Dates Nationwide Promotes Safety 7 19

2 Country Focus January 2020 MessagePRESIDENT'S PFB President Rick Ebert As we begin a new year, I can’t help hunting bill in line with policy adopted commonsense measures, such as federal affairs trips. Make sure Farm but look back on 2019 incredibly proud by members in 2018, our advocacy exempting old wedding barns from Bureau is advocating for the issues you of all that we—as Pennsylvania Farm reshaped the debate over Sunday modern building regulations and care about by being active in our policy Bureau members—accomplished. hunting to put our policy objectives— protecting agritourism operators from development process. strengthening trespass laws, limiting frivolous lawsuits. Later this month, a new law will take the expansion to three Sundays and The easiest way to get more involved effect that allows landowners to mark requiring written landowner permission We’ll play a central role in is to sign up for and respond to PFB their property with purple paint stripes in to hunt on Sundays—front and center. discussions over how state and local Action Alerts. Responding to Action lieu of “no trespassing” signs. While the governments will manage stormwater Alerts is as easy as reading an email or new law will benefit rural landowners In Washington, we’re seeing our in light of federal mandates to reduce text message and pushing a button. But across the state, it also highlights the advocacy pay off with significant steps nutrient pollution from runoff. We’ll doing so is incredibly important because importance and effectiveness of Farm being taken towards getting the U.S.- advocate for solutions that protect it lets the legislators who represent you Bureau’s grassroots advocacy. Mexico-Canada Agreement ratified by water quality without imposing know where you, and Farm Bureau, Congress and replacing the troubling inequitable burdens on farms and rural stand on key issues. Learn more at The idea came from a PFB member Waters of the U.S. rule with one that communities. We’re also advocating for who worked through our grassroots protects water quality without being changing state regulations to make it policy development process to make costly and burdensome to farmers. easier for counties to quickly maintain Farm Bureau’s power is in the it part of PFB’s agenda. Farm Bureau and remove obstructions from streams passion of our grassroots members. worked with lawmakers to introduce a I hope that you are as proud of these to prevent flooding. Please join me in keeping our voice bill this year and members advocated for accomplishments as I am. As a Farm strong in 2020. it during meetings with their legislators. Bureau member, you had a hand in And expect to see PFB as a leading The bill cleared both chambers of the making them happen. voice in many other issues, from Country Focus General Assembly unanimously and creating special economic-development was signed by Gov. Tom Wolf. I also hope that you’ll join me in zones for dairy to bringing state small Publisher Joel Rotz making sure we have just as much business tax provisions in line with Editor Liam Migdail The purple paint law was just one of reason to celebrate at the end of 2020. federal standards. Graphics Production Director many victories Farm Bureau members Just as we wouldn’t let a successful year Lorraine Potochney-Kobold helped bring about in 2019. on the farm stop us from continuing to Just by being a Farm Bureau innovate and improve our operations, member, you are already playing a big Graphic Designer Holly Cohick In June, we helped secure $19 we can’t rest on our laurels after a year role in supporting our advocacy on these million in new funding for state of significant legislative victories. issues and others. But my challenge Contact Us agriculture programs, including the new to you this year is to do even more to Email: [email protected] “Pennsylvania Farm Bill.” That money There’s still much work to be done. advocate for Pennsylvania agriculture PO Box 8736, Camp Hill, PA 17001-8736 will, among other things, help develop One of our top priorities remains and rural communities. new markets for agricultural products, expanding access to high-speed internet 717.761.2740 fund on-farm conservation efforts, and in rural Pennsylvania. The good news You can get involved in your establish grants to help farmers expand is that this issue unites elected officials county Farm Bureau and participate in Advertising Coordinator or improve their businesses. on both sides of the aisle. The bad news an advocacy event in your community, Kim Flegal is that it’s an extremely complicated such as a legislative breakfast, We played a key role in increasing problem and there are no quick or easy legislative farm tour or a meeting with Email: [email protected] the maximum width of farm equipment solutions. We’re supporting a series of county commissioners, state legislators 717.731.3580 allowed on roadways to accommodate bills that would take important steps, or a member of Congress. Look for new, wider equipment, and in easing such as inventorying state-owned assets opportunitiestoadvocatewithlawmakers On the Web regulations on roadside farm stands. that could be leveraged to expand in Harrisburg and Washington, such as broadband and establishing grants for our State Legislative Conference and We helped design and advocate for service expansion. a new state tax credit that encourages We’re advocating for reforms to landowners to rent or sell farmland to keep agritourism a viable option for beginning farmers. farms to tap into growing consumer interest in agriculture and diversify We made sure that Pennsylvania’s their operations to keep up with a trespassing laws were strengthened changing farm economy. We support and given some teeth amid a recent expansion of Sunday hunting. While Country Focus (ISSN: USPS 970140) is PFB took a neutral stance on the Sunday published by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau eleven times per year, with a combined issue for July/ Deadline Approaching to Register for YAP Conference August. Paid for by $3 from membership dues toward a subscription price. Postage Paid at Camp Pennsylvania young farmers and agriculture professionals have a chance to network, grow their leadership skills and learn Hill, PA and at additional mailing offices. Business about important issues in agriculture at the Young Ag Professionals Leadership Conference in February. and Editorial Offices: 510 S. 31st Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011-5214, Accounting and Circulation Make sure to register now because the deadline to sign up is Jan. 25. Offices: 510 S. 31st Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011- The 2020 conference is scheduled for Feb. 15 and 16 at the Eden Resort in Lancaster. Keynote speakers include Eric 5214. Send address changes to Pennsylvania McElvenny, an amputee endurance athlete and motivational speaker, and Troy Ott, associate director of the Huck Institutes of Farm Bureau, 510 S. 31st Street, Camp Hill, PA Life Sciences at Penn State, who will give an update on biotechnology in agriculture. Educational sessions are planned in areas such as no-till technology, hemp, beekeeping, grain marketing, cultivating a 17011. successful county YAP program, agritourism insurance, business planning and more. Registration is $100 for the conference only, $230 for the conference and a room or $330 for two conference attendees and a room. Learn more and register at

January 2020 3 Country Focus Stay Warm with PFB Member Benefits This Winter worKYOUR Staying warm this winter doesn’t For savings on propane for your And don’t forget to turn to FARMATBUREAU have to mean breaking the bank. Your home, farm and/or business, PFB Grainger, the preferred MRO supplier Pennsylvania Farm Bureau member members receive 5 cents off per gallon of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, for your House Passes Dairy Bills benefits offer many ways to save. from AmeriGas. winter maintenance needs. The state House passed two Farm For potential savings on your Since 1959, the AmeriGas vision As a PFB member, you receive a Bureau-supported bills that aim to electric bill, turn to NRG, PFB’s has been to provide the safest, most 10 percent discount on all Grainger help the state’s dairy sector. preferred energy supplier. By switching reliable and most responsive propane catalogue items, which include a wide to NRG, you’ll earn cash back while service in the nation. The company has selection of home and farm supplies.  (Page 4) still receiving the same electric delivery local representatives backed by national You also are eligible for additional service from your local utility company. infrastructure to ensure that you have savings on tools and free shipping. Engage at Farm Bureau Days propane when you need it. PFB members receive a $50 sign- Visit to Make sure to attend you regional up bonus after two months as an NRG Propane is a low-cost and learn more. Home customer. And each year, you’ll environmentally friendly fuel source for Farm Bureau Days event to get receive 5 percent cash back on the many activities around the home and Learn more about your PFB member supply portion of your electric bill. farm. At home, propane is a great option benefits at or calling updated on our state and federal Members can choose between a variable for heating, hot water and cooking fuel PFB’s Member Relations Division at pricing plan or a 12-month fixed pricing and it has many applications around 717.761.2740. plan. the farm, from heating greenhouses to drying grain. AmeriGas can help you advocacy efforts, learn about To learn more or to take advantage determine if it makes sense to convert of this offer, visit to propane on your farm or expand your emerging issues in agriculture and or call 1.855.500.8703 and mention use of propane. offer code PFB-7433-024 for the learn about opportunities to become variable pricing offer or PFB-7555-024 Visit to for the fixed pricing offer. learn more and for contact information more engaged. (Page 6) for local AmeriGas locations.  Purple Paint Law to Take Effect The purple paint law that Farm Bureau advocated for in 2019 is set to take effect this month. Read what you need to know about posting your property “no trespassing” using purple paint stripes.  (Page 9) For the ones who get it done. eSntaeyrgwyasramvinwgist.h winter In the garden, NRG gives you choices your local utility doesn’t, like earning cash back for around the house your everyday use. Take advantage of members-only enrollment bonuses or at the office, for fixed and variable offers on electricity supply and make the switch today. expect quality Enroll and earn at: products with special savings and free ground shipping. 855.692.8330 Code: PFB-7650-085 Account #: 855488417

4 Country Focus January 2020 Farmer Engagement Critical in Chesapeake Bay Plan (continued from page 1) practices but they are also compatible model. That may require changes to the Andrew Flinchbaugh speaks during a with agricultural production,” Royer state’s Right to Know Law to alleviate panel discussion on Pennsylvania’s plan said. farmers’ concerns about privacy. to improve Chesapeake Bay water quality during PFB’s 69th Annual Meeting. Another challenge, he added, Flinchbaugh agreed that it’s critical is getting an accurate accounting of all conservation measures are counted. voluntary conservation practices that are already in place on Pennsylvania “We need to do everything in our farms. A survey conducted by Penn ability to make sure everything that State in 2016 found that the Bay Model we’re doing, we’re getting recognized used to measure states’ reduction of and credited for,” he said. nutrient pollution underestimated Pennsylvania’s progress because it While meeting the water quality did not take into account conservation goals may impose an additional burden measures farmers had implemented on farms, he said, it’s important that without public funds. farmers look at conservation as a central goal of their business planning, He said Penn State plans to conduct just as they do keeping their operations a follow up survey in 2020 but that a viable to pass on to the next generation. system is needed to ensure voluntary conservation efforts count in the “We have to accept it and we have to make it part of our business,” Flinchbaugh said. State House Passes Dairy Bills China Agrees to Purchase A bill that would leverage one of Pennsylvania’s signature economic U.S. Ag Products development tools to attract dairy processing infrastructure to the state has cleared the state House. China will purchase more U.S. agricultural products as part of an agreement reached between the two nations that officials say is “phase one” of a larger trade Representatives voted 194 to two last month in favor of House Bill 1223, deal. sending the bill to the state Senate for consideration. In return, the U.S. is reducing tariffs on Chinese imports that were imposed in The legislation would create several Keystone Opportunity Zones to attract September and called off additional tariffs that were set to take effect in December. dairy processing. Such zones target economic developments in specific areas by offering a mix of state and local tax incentives and have a track record of sparking As of Country Focus deadline, President Donald Trump and Chinese officials economic development in the state. had each confirmed that the deal was reached but the agreement had not yet been signed. Pennsylvania Farm Bureau supports the bill and noted to legislators attracting large-scale dairy processing to the state would create additional markets for The agreement comes as welcomed news to farmers who have suffered the Pennsylvania-produced milk and help bolster the state’s dairy sector, which has brunt of a lengthy trade dispute with China, one of the nation’s top agricultural struggled amid low prices and challenging market conditions. trading partners. With a unanimous vote, the House also passed a bill that would give the “China went from the second-largest market for U.S. agricultural products to Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board the ability to coordinate with the Department the fifth-largest since the trade war began,” American Farm Bureau President Zippy of Revenue on the collection of milk premiums paid by consumers at the point of Duvall said. “Reopening the door to trade with China and others is key to helping sale. PFB also supports that measure, House Bill 1224, and believes it would lead farmers and ranchers get back on their feet.” to greater transparency over how premium dollars are paid to farmers. Some details of the agreement were not yet known as of Country Focus deadline, Both bills are sponsored by state Rep. John Lawrence of Chester County. including the details and scale of China’s planned purchases of agricultural goods. JapaTnaekseesTEraffdeecDt eal “We are eager to learn the details of China’s commitment to purchase more agricultural products,” Duvall said. “American agriculture has been caught in the A new trade deal between the U.S. and Japan takes effect as of Jan. 1. trade war crosshairs and it’s time to turn the page. We encourage the administration The agreement reduces tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods imported by Japan, to continue building on today’s announced progress and aggressively pursue a full which is expected to expand market opportunities for American farmers. Japan’s trade agreement with China and other partners around the world.” Parliament approved the deal last month. “Now that the final hurdle to a deal with Japan has been cleared, American U.S. House Passes Ag Labor Bill farmers and ranchers can count on increased market access for their products - from beef and poultry to fruits, vegetables and nuts,” American Farm Bureau Federation The U.S. House in December passed an agricultural labor reform bill that seeks President Zippy Duvall said. “This is a big win for farmers, and we hope it’s the to expand farms’ access to foreign guest workers for both year-round and seasonal first of many trade deals to be approved that will open markets and level playing labor but falls short of addressing Farm Bureau’s policy objectives. fields for American agricultural exports.” Under the deal, Japan would treat U.S. agricultural imports as it does goods The Farm Workforce Modernization Act cleared the House with a 260-165 from the European Union and its partner nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration. While reforming agricultural enabling U.S. farmers to compete on a more level playing field for access to the labor is a key priority, Farm Bureau continues to have concerns over aspects of the Japanese market. legislation, namely that it would continue some of the high costs associated with Congress does not need to approve the deal as it does not involve substantive the current H-2A program and would open up farm employers to greater risk of changes to U.S. law. being sued by workers. Farm Bureau does not support the bill in its current form but will continue to advocate for changes to bring it more in line with farmers’ needs. “We will turn our attention to the Senate where we hope legislation is crafted that provides long-term solutions to the farm labor crisis,” American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said. “Farmers need meaningful reform that addresses the concerns of both workers and growers.” Expanding farms’ access to labor has been a key priority for Farm Bureau as many farm employers have found the H-2A program is not working for them. The need for access to year-round workers (the current program only allows for seasonal labor) is especially relevant in Pennsylvania, where major segments of the state’s agricultural industry, dairy and mushrooms, require workers throughout the year.

January 2020 5 Country Focus PFB’s 2020 State Board of Directors During PFB’s 69th Annual Meeting in November, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 2020 State Board of Directors paused to take a group photo. Front Row Back Row Raleigh Masters, Luzerne County, Young Ag Professionals Committee chair; Gretchen Winklosky, Westmoreland County, District 16; Robert Craft, Charlie Porter, Columbia County, District 4; David Graybill, Juniata County, Mercer County, District 15; Tommy Nagle, Cambria County, District 12; James District 10; Chief Administrative Officer Sam Kieffer; PFB President Rick Ebert; Barbour, Susquehanna County, District 1; John Painter, Tioga County, District PFB Vice President Chris Hoffman; Howard Robinson, Chester County, District 5; Don Buckman, Bucks County, District 2; Clair Esbenshade, Snyder County, 3; David Snook, Clinton County, District 6; Jack Post, Crawford County, District District 7; Luke Brubaker, Lancaster County, District 8; Rick Leese, Fulton 14; and Lisa Wherry, Washington County, Women’s Leadership Committee chair. County, District 9; Larry Cogan, Somerset County, District 11; and Ernest Mattiuz Jr., Elk County, District 13. PFB to Send Delegates to AFBF Convention Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is again sending four voting delegates and several Rick Ebert Chris Hoffman James Barbour John Painter alternates to the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention. Leese, of Fulton County; Luke Brubaker, of Lancaster County; Tommy Nagle, of Since 2011, PFB has been represented by four delegates at the annual convention Cambria County; Howard Robinson, of Chester County; Young Ag Professionals because our organization exceeded 50,000 members during the 2010 membership Chair Raleigh Masters, of Luzerne County; and Women’s Leadership Chair Lisa year. The 101st AFBF Annual Convention takes place Jan. 17-22 in Austin, Texas. Wherry, of Washington County. Voting delegates from Farm Bureaus in all 50 states and Puerto Rico will Along with the delegates, dozens of PFB members will be attending the deliberate on proposed policy resolutions, which originated at the county Farm convention, which also includes the IDEAg Trade Show. The convention offers an Bureau level. Policies adopted by the delegates will direct Farm Bureau’s national opportunity to network with farmers from across the nation and learn about a wide activities in 2020. variety of emerging topics in agriculture. PFB’s four voting delegates at the AFBF Annual Meeting are President Rick Ebert of Westmoreland County, Vice President Chris Hoffman of Juniata County and State Board directors Jim Barbour of Susquehanna County and John Painter of Tioga County. State Board Director David Graybill of Juniata County will serve as the first alternate delegate. In addition, the following State Board directors will attend as alternate delegates: Bob Craft, of Mercer County; Clair Esbenshade, of Snyder County; Rick ZeroDown 844.720.4CAT

6 Country Focus January 2020 Mark Your Calendar Region 2 - District 8: Feb. 12 Region 5: Feb. 19 for Farm Bureau Days Counties: Allegheny, Beaver/Lawrence, Counties: Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, York Butler, Fayette, Greene, Mercer, Washington Time: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Westmoreland Place: Encks Banquet and Conference Time: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Center, 1461 Lancaster Road, Manheim Place: Soergel Orchard, 2573 Brandt School RVSP by: Jan. 27 to Justin Clapper at Road, Wexford [email protected] or 570.971.2289 RSVP by: Feb. 14 to Al Weber, [email protected] or 412.897.6991 Make sure to attend an upcoming Farm Bureau Day event, where Pennsylvania Region 3: Feb. 13 Farm Bureau will give an update on our legislative and regulatory outreach for Region 6: Feb. 18 the year ahead. Some regions will also host workshops that provide valuable Counties: Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Counties: Armstrong, Crawford, Clarion, Elk, information on emerging agriculture issues. Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin and Perry Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Venango and Warren Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Farm Bureau Days also serve as the kick-off for the policy development Place: Strock Enterprises, 729 Williams Place: The Wolf’s Den Event & Conference process, which gives every grassroots member a chance to steer PFB’s advocacy. Grove Road, Mechanicsburg Center, 308 Timberwolf Run, Knox The sessions help county leaders engage more farmers in that process. RSVP by: Feb. 6 to Kyle Kotzmoyer at RSVP by: Feb. 10 to Brittany Eisenman, [email protected] or 717-215-0765 [email protected] or 717.982.3280 PFB Director of State Government Affairs Darrin Youker and Director of Federal Government Affairs Kristina Watson will give important updates about Region 7: Feb. 10 what’s happening in Harrisburg and Washington and what’s to come in the year Counties: Bradford/Sullivan, Centre, Clinton, ahead. Lycoming, McKean, Tioga and Potter Time: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All members are encouraged to participate in their regional event. Reservations Place: Pennsylvania College of Technology, are necessary. Professional Development Center, 1 College Ave., Williamsport Dates for regional meetings are now available for Farm Bureau Days in your RSVP by: Feb. 3 to Brendan Reed, [email protected] area. Times and locations are listed if available. For a reservation and information or 717.829.5929 about whether there is a cost, contact your Regional Organization Director. Region 8: Feb. 11 Region 1: Feb. 12 Region 2 - District 7: Feb. 10 Region 4: Feb. 20 Counties: Columbia, Carbon, Luzerne, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne/Pike and Counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester/Delaware, Counties: Northumberland, Montour, Snyder Counties: Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Wyoming/Lackawanna Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton/ and Union Indiana, Somerset Time: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monroe Time: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Place: Wyoming Hose Company #2, 70 E. Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Place: Carriage Corner Restaurant, 257 E. Place: Frank Pasquerilla Conference Center, Third St., Wyoming Place: Bay Pony Inn, 508 Old Skippack Road, Chestnut St., Mifflinburg 301 Napoleon St., Johnstown RSVP by: Feb. 4 to Bob Perhacs, Harleysville RSVP by: Jan. 27 to Justin Clapper at RSVP by: Feb. 12 to Joe Diamond, [email protected] or 570.814.3511 RSVP by: Feb. 5 to Ethan Howard at [email protected] or 570.971.2289 [email protected] or 814.934.0330 [email protected] or 610.533.2558

January 2020 7 Country Focus Mark Your Calendar for Farmers Care Farm Bureau Leader Recognized as Distinguished PSU Alumni Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee is building on the success of its Farmers Care program. Paul Semmel, a Lehigh County dairy farmer and Farm Bureau leader, has been named a recipient of Penn State The program showcases the community spirit of Farm Bureau members by University’s 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award. helping Ronald McDonald Houses and other charitable organizations. Throughout the winter and spring, county Farm Bureaus will organize Farmers Care events Semmel is among eight alumni selected by the Board across the state. Many of these events will be held in conjunction with Ronald of Trustees to receive the award, the university’s highest McDonald Houses located in five Pennsylvania communities. honor presented to alumni, next year. He was nominated by Paul Semmel Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. County Farm Bureaus are welcome to organize their own events, or contribute to regional events that will benefit Ronald McDonald Houses. Our overall goal is Semmel owns Excelsior Dairy Farm along with his wife, Nancy. While to demonstrate to the public that farmers care about helping their communities, and continuing to farm, he taught for 15 years as a high school science teacher and then they show that commitment by gathering donations for those in need. served 24 years in the state House of Representatives. In the General Assembly, Semmel played an important role in several pieces of legislation important to The following events, held in conjunction with Ronald McDonald Houses are agriculture, including sponsoring a 2007 law that strengthened liability protections being planned: for farmers and other private landowners who allow hunting on their properties. Semmel was the recipient of PFB’s 2007 Distinguished Service to Agriculture Philadelphia: Feb. 17 Scranton: Date in April TBD Award. Contact Susan Myers at 215.234.9334 Contact Emma Hinkley at 570.280.8261 Since retiring from the General Assembly, Semmel has been a key leader in Lehigh County Farm Bureau’s outreach to elected officials. He previously served or [email protected] or [email protected] on the county Farm Bureau board and as county vice president. Danville: March 10 Submit a Photo to Celebrate Contact Bonnie Beck at 570.724.3599. 70 Years of PFB Hershey: March 13 This year, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is celebrating 70 years of advocating for agriculture and rural communities. Contact Sonieta Harrop at 717.437.5818 or [email protected] To commemorate this milestone, we are freshening up our office walls with photos taken by our members from across the Keystone State. Pittsburgh: April 16 To learn more about the program, contact your district’s Women’s To submit a photo for consideration, please fill out an online entry form and Contact Lisa Wherry at 724.255.1943 Committee Leadership representative submit your photo at The photographer’s name, or [email protected], or Sandy or PFB’s Member Relations Division at county, title of photo, year the photo was taken, and optional photo description of Craft at 814.715.4244 or [email protected] 717.761.2740. 50 words or fewer will be displayed with the photograph, if selected. The deadline for entries is Nov. 1. Be sure to also share your photo on social media and use the hashtag #PFB70. BUILT FOR IT.™ When you choose Cat® equipment, you get what you pay for — durable and reliable equipment, exceptional service, and maximum value. Save up to $2,500 off eligible machines. Visit to down- load your savings certificate, then visit your local dealer to make your best deal. Certificate, along with valid ID, must be presented to the Cat dealer in advance of delivery to receive the discount.

8 Country Focus January 2020 Membership Rolls In Across the state, membership volunteers are hard at work helping to grow The following information is provided by Nationwide, Farm Bureau with new members. A growing Farm Bureau organization is vital the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S. to our successful outreach and education missions. Meet The McAfees Congratulations to the following counties who have reached their membership goal: Butler and Greene. Encourage Schools to Apply for Wade and Kirsten McAfee are Farm Bureau members who manage a grain New Farm-to-School Grants farm in its sixth generation. They know that there are many things you can’t control when growing crops and raising livestock. A new state grant program aims to strengthen Pennsylvania students’connection to agriculture by providing funding to get local food into schools and/or educate “As farmers, we do everything we possibly can to grow good crops or raise students about farming. healthy animals and sometimes mother nature is hard on us and we have no control over that,” Wade said. This is a great opportunity for farmers and county Farm Bureaus to partner with their local school districts on projects that educate students about agriculture, While there’s no controlling mother nature, Wade and Kirsten have made sure such as field trips to farms or at school events that teach students where their food to focus on what they can control to help prepare for the unexpected. comes from. Schools can also receive grants to buy food directly from local farms for school meals. Therefore, after their son Braxton was born, they wanted to make sure that if anything happened to one of them, they could still care for the entire family while Be sure to talk to your school district right away about these opportunities keeping the farm in tact. because districts must apply for the grants by Jan. 15. They met with their Nationwide® agent to discuss how they could protect their In addition to public school districts, charter and private schools may also apply family and farm above and beyond the life insurance policies they already had. as long as they offer pre-kindergarten classes, kindergarten, and/or elementary That’s when they learned about a long-term care policy. education through fifth grade. The new Farm to School Grant Program is part of the recent Pennsylvania Farm Bill, which Pennsylvania Farm Bureau supported. Learn “The long-term care for us with farming being a dangerous business and the more at risks that are involved, I wanted to make sure that should something happen to one of us we would have the care that we needed and still have the farm business Grants Help Bolster Meat Processing operational and not have to take away from that piece of it,” said Kirsten. A new state grant program is helping to increase local meat processing capacity “We don’t know what our health will be like in 30 years. By looking at the in Pennsylvania to help farmers meet growing demand for local food. long-term policy we can map out our future a little better,” said Wade McAfee. The state Department of Agriculture recently awarded 15 grants through the As they know their needs may change over time, the McAfee’s appreciate the new Very Small Meat Processor Grant Program. The $500,000 investment aims to availability of their agent and take advantage of the annual On Your Side Review®. expand local meat processing in the commonwealth and make it easier for farmers to market their meat to local consumers. The program was created as part of the “We have a yearly On Your Side Review and my agent comes out and speaks Pennsylvania Farm Bill, which Pennsylvania Farm Bureau supported. with me and we discuss anything new, anything I may have lost that I don’t need insured, or maybe I fixed up a building and I want to add more insurance to that. Grant recipients are: I really never did that before and that’s really peace of mind for me,” said Wade. • Adams County: Rettland Farm LLC received $28,250 to allow more meat processing capacity in the area and meet the growing need for processing Kirsten knows that their farm is different and unique from the next and meat from small, independent farmers. appreciated that her agent recognized that as well. • Allegheny County: Kip’s Processing received $50,000 to enable the creation of value-added products and increase donations to local charitable “I would tell other farmers to really look at what they do have insured. food systems. Nationwide really opened my eyes to the policy I used to have and what was not • Clarion County: Anthony O’Neil received $50,000 to process meat for actually insured under that policy that I thought was.” “That was one of the main local farmers to help with the recent loss of the only local USDA inspected reasons I gave Nationwide my business for my farm,” said Wade. butcher in the area. • Clarion County: Richard Norbert received $50,000 to provide meat Testimonials are not representative of the experience of other clients, are no guarantee of future performance or processing services to nearby farms. success, and are not paid endorsements. The information contained herein was prepared to support the promotion, • Cumberland County: Lil’ Ponderosa received $40,500 to produce value- marketing and/or sale of life insurance contracts, annuity contracts and/or other products and services provided added products from meat sourced from local farms. by Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company. When purchasing life insurance, be sure to choose a product • Fayette County: Republic Food Enterprise Center received $25,000 to that meets long-term life insurance needs, especially if personal situations change — for example, marriage, provide a mobile poultry processing trailer to South Western Pennsylvania birth of a child or job promotion. Weigh the costs of the policy, and understand that life insurance has fees and • Monroe County: Stryker Farm received $21,500 to enable on-farm charges that vary with sex, health, age and tobacco use. Riders that customize your policy to fit your individual processing of meat and create eight to 12 new jobs. needs usually carry additional charges, may not be available in certain states and may be known by different • Montgomery County: Paul Kennedy received $6,000 to permit the selling names. Long-term care insurance does have exclusions, limitations, reductions of benefits, and terms under which of meat to grocers and restaurants. the policy may be continued in force or discontinued. For more details on cost and coverage options, contact • Schuylkill County: David Jeffrey Reber Sr. received $21,905 to enable a your insurance professional. All guarantees and benefits of the insurance policy are subject to the claims-paying family farm butcher shop to sell meat and value-added products to the public. ability of the issuing insurance company. Policy guarantees and benefits are not backed by the broker/dealer and/ • Snyder County: N.S. Troutman & Sons received $50,000 to reestablish a or insurance agency selling the policy, nor by any of their affiliates, and none of them makes any representation butcher shop in the community that specializes in organic beef. or guarantees regarding the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Products are issued by • Somerset County: Michael Butterfield received $8,000 to support an Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle approved meat processing facility to meet growing local demand. and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company © 2019 Nationwide • Susquehanna County: Stepniak Beef received $23,845 to add an on-site slaughtering facility to a 99-year-old butcher shop and meet the needs of local Sign Up Now for Expanded farmers and restaurants. Conservation Reserve Program • Susquehanna County: Waldron Custom Meats received $40,000 to create eight new jobs and reduce the meat processing backlog in the area. The sign-up period is now open for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s • Venango County: Hepler Meat Processing received $35,000 to increase Conservation Reserve Program, which encourages farmers to implement capacity and certification to allow the butcher shop to provide custom conservation practices on their land. processing for local restaurants. • Wayne County: Hickory Ridge Custom Cuts received $50,000 to allow Farmers who enroll land in the program receive a yearly rental payment for the butcher shop to produce specialized meats at a greater scale and create voluntarily establishing long-term practices to control soil erosion, improve water three to five jobs. quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural land. The 2018 Farm Bill lifted a cap on the number of acres enrolled in the program to 27 million from 22 million. That means that more farmers will have an opportunity to participate than in previous years. Farmers have until Feb. 28 to apply for the general CRP, a competitive program in which bids for enrollment are ranked based on environmental benefit. Enrollment for the continuous CRP, which targets environmentally sensitive lands, can happen at any time. Funding for continuous CRP in the 2018 Farm Bill is targeted at practices that improve water quality such as contour grass strips, filter strips, riparian buffers and wetlands. To learn more or apply, contact your local Farm Service Agency county office or visit

January 2020 9 Country Focus Pennsylvania’s Purple Paint Law Pennsylvania’s new purple paint use of purple paint stripes in lieu of no fact, the measure was a Farm Bureau Here’s what you need to know: law takes effect the last week of January. trespassing signs. member’s idea that surfaced through Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy How does it work? The law makes it easier and less Pennsylvania Farm Bureau development process. Stripes of purple paint on trees or costly for landowners to post their land played a central role in introducing to prohibit trespassing by allowing the and advocating for the legislation. In Minimum size fence posts (provided they meet certain 1” guidelines) will carry the same legal weight as no trespassing signs. If you 8” post your property with purple paint and someone hunts on it anyway, they’re breaking the law and can be prosecuted. It’s as simple as that. What paint can I use? The law only specifies “identifying purple paint.” Paint manufacturers make a shade called “no hunting purple” that’s available in spray paint as well as regular paint. Expect to find it at retailers across the state as the new law takes effect. 100’ minimum apart How do I mark my property with 3’-5’ from purple paint? the ground Purple paint marks must be visible approaching the property and follow specific guidelines. Stripes must be, at minimum, 8 inches tall by 1 inch wide. The bottoms of the stripes must be between three and five feet off the ground. The markings can be no more than 100 feet apart. Farmers take pride in being able to handle whatever comes their way They also have the good sense to realize when it’s best to bring in experts LANCASTERFARMINGLOCATOR.COM is the premiere online Gary J. Heim Jennifer Denchak Wetzel Jacob H. Kiessling inventory of Ag and Construction equipment, Trucks and Auctions. Over 96,000 The attorneys within Mette, Evans & Woodside’s Agricultural Law Group have people have made Locator the fastest growing equipment search website in the been the trusted legal service providers for the PFB Legal Service Plan for 40 years. Northeast. Come join this growing community! Collaborating with our firm’s experienced attorneys across different areas of the law, we provide agriculture and agri-business clients with comprehensive legal counsel.  MORE THAN 43,000 LISTINGS and growing everyday. • Farm/Business Succession Planning • Wills, Trusts & Estate Settlements • Environmental Issues • Business & Estate Disputes/Litigation  NEW RESOURCES SECTION • Farm Transfers, Sales & Purchases • LLC/Corporation Formation & Advice with equipment-centric stories and blogs. • Oil & Gas Planning • Medicaid/Nursing Home Planning • Cell Tower, Solar & Wind Lease Review • 1031/Like-Kind Exchanges  S EARCH DEALERS based on location and selection.  R ESPONSIVE AND USER-FRIENDLY website experience. POWER — YOUR — LIFE WE’RE HERE TO HELP! Call 717-721-4449 or email [email protected] TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR PA FARM BUREAU MEMBERSHIP DISCOUNT. SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Service Plan 717-232-5000 717-721-4412 SERVICES PROVIDED THROUGH ONE EAST MAIN ST., EPHRATA, PA 17522

10 Country Focus January 2020 New Policies to Direct PFB’s Advocacy The following state policies were adopted by voting delegates at PFB’s 69th Energy local police, and regional state police) Annual Meeting in November. Policies were developed through PFB’s grassroots be properly trained to handle animals process and will guide the organization’s advocacy on behalf of farmers and rural Amend current policy (PFB, p. that are involved in barn fires and road families. These new policies will be added to PFB’s State Policy Book, which is our 10, Energy, Energy Alternatives, no. 1 accidents. official stance on agriculture and rural life issues. h.) to read: “We recommend the state government provide no additional We recommend that employers NOTE: For resolutions that amend existing policies, bold/underlined represents subsides to the nuclear power industry.” receive state tax credits for employees added text while strikethroughs represent deleted text. engaged in emergency services training We recommend nuclear power on voluntarily provided company time, Agricultural Research issues found if the issues found do not plants be eligible to receive alternative upon the employee’s completion and present an immediate danger to the energy credits.  certification of the course.  Amend current policy (PFB, p. animals, as determined by one of two 1, Honeybee Research) to read: “We other independent expert witnesses (one We recommend companies Highways and Infrastructure recommend funding to research the a either a large animal veterinarian, who lease land for solar and wind effect of new insecticides, and seed and/or an expert pertaining to the energy projects be required to pay We recommend PennDOT separate treatments, and diseases on honeybees.” species in question from Penn State decommissioned bonds that cover all of its winter and summer maintenance Extension). The other independent the disposal costs for equipment once it budgets, so that northern counties do not Agriculture, Pa. Dept. of expert must accompany the animal is no longer useful or operational. lose their highway expenditures after humane law enforcement officer to site costly winter expenses. We recommend of alleged violation before any citation We recommend is issued.”  the state government We recommend the financing for the Pennsylvania Farm provide tax credits interstate highway maintenance come Animal Programs for farmers to host out of general statewide funding without Bureau be involved in community energy reducing funding for road maintenance We recommend the Pennsylvania generation projects, so at the county level. the development of any Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective long as landowners receive the majority Association be required to place no less share of compensation for available We recommend PennDOT paint policy or quarantines than two board members that represent energy, despite any community, roads in fog areas yearly and make Presque Isle Downs and Western financial or other input. markers closer together. implemented by Pennsylvania. Health and Safety We recommend, upon replacement the Pennsylvania Department of Dairy or repair, all county and township roads We recommend health insurers that intersect with state routes have Agriculture. We recommend the name of the be required to cover any expenses name signs of a minimum height of 8 Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board incurred for the treatment of potential inches in zones under 45 miles per hour We oppose the closing of Regional be changed to the Pennsylvania Milk rabies exposure determined by the zone, and a minimum Regulatory Board. Pennsylvania Department of Health. of 12 inches in zones Department of Agriculture Offices. above 45 miles per We recommend the PMMB account We recommend the setback for hour. We recommend continued for all the money collected on all milk private explosive fireworks be a sold in Pennsylvania. minimum of 500 feet from animal We recommend allowance of pet shop kennels that housing units. speed limit signs are We recommend eliminating the posted within 500 feet of rural and are licensed and inspected by the state over-order premium and replacing it We recommend non-financial parochial school zones. with a PMMB-regulated surcharge per (clinical) eligibility determinations for to purchase animals from multiple gallon of milk retailed in Pennsylvania, Medicaid Home and Community Based Hunting and Fishing Laws with proceeds placed in a pool fund to Services remain under the Department sources. be evenly distributed of Aging. We recommend the Game to all Pennsylvania Commission allow landowners to enroll We recommend all kennels licensed producers regardless We recommend oversight and and reenroll for Red Tag online. of where the milk was implementation of Older Adults and inspected by the Pennsylvania produced or processed. Protective Services (aged 60 and above) Amend current remain under the Department of Aging. policy (PFB, p. 19, Department of Agriculture abide by the Education DMAP, no. 5) to read: We recommend the provisions “We recommend same regulatory standards, regardless We recommend of Act 22 of 2011 granting the Red Tag Permits adoption of legislation Department of Human Services the be expanded to two of status (e.g., commercial, non- to forgive up to broad authority to change Medicare and four permits per-parcel per-hunter $16,000 in student debt provider reimbursement rates without statewide.” commercial, non-profit or boarding). loan debt for those who oversight by the General Assembly or have served a minimum of five years the Independent Regulatory Review We recommend resident DMAP Animal Health as an active member of a volunteer fire Commission be repealed. permits be the same price as resident company, volunteer rescue company or doe permits. Amend current policy (PFB, p. 5, an emergency medical service agency. Amend current policy (PFB, Cruelty to Animals Enforcement, no. p. 15, Safety, no. 4) to read: “We We recommend the Game 2) to read: “We recommend minimum Eminent Domain recommend increased funding from Commission increase DMAP permits to required training for humane society all possible sources for training of four per hunter, per parcel enrolled. police officers be: a. 72 hours of We recommend the highway local emergency response teams in instruction in animal cruelty laws, condemnation standard for land in an agricultural emergencies, including We recommend the Game criminal procedures, care and treatment agricultural security area be strengthened grain bin rescues, and Commission allow landowners to enroll and search and seizure practices; b. 48 and that the condemnation exception for that ongoing training and reenroll for DMAP online. hours of science-based instruction by activities relating to existing highways options for the Penn State Extension in proper animal be eliminated. grain rescue tube be We oppose any action by the Game husbandry, body scoring of different available every two to Commission to withdraw land from farm animals and agricultural industry three years.” active farming. practices; and c. 20 hours annually in continuing education with a minimum We recommend that all first We recommend deer hunters be able of 5 hours of training based on item responders (including volunteer and to apply for and obtain antlerless deer “b” of this section.” paid firefighters, ambulance crews, licenses online.  Amend current We recommend no additional policy (PFB, p. 5, statewide or regional restrictions be Cruelty to Animals Law imposed on current allowances for Enforcement, no. 7) to read: “We recommend upon investigation of a cruelty to animals complaint, if an offense is found by the SPCA/ Humane Society, the offender must be given three months from the time of written notification to correct the

January 2020 11 Country Focus feeding wildlife or sale of wildlife feed Streets within population centers are calculated, published and enacted for Services to inventory all state-owned products. inappropriate for the operation of such the following: assets that could host or assist in the farm equipment. b. Wide berms exist development broadband technology. Insurance along such limited access highways as a. Each acre of compliance will provide for safe operation of such under each of the following: We recommend county and Amend current policy (PFB, farm equipment. c. Flashing warning municipalities be able to construct p. 24, Automobile Insurance) to lights be required to be in use by the i. an NRCS or County broadband where private entities will read: “We recommend minimum farm equipment and by front and rear Conservation District approved not do so. limits of 15,000/30,000/5,000 for escort vehicles during operation of Conservation Plan, bodily injury and property damage the equipment on the limited access We recommend holding broadband be raised to 30,000/50,000/25,000 highway.” ii. an Erosion and Sediment service providers accountable to fulfill 50,000/100,000/50,000. Plan, their obligation to provide service after We recommend agricultural they have accepted Labor machinery being used for snow removal iii. an Act 38 Nutrient government money be exempt from registration and/ Management Plan, and/or an to expand broadband We recommend an or licensing when driven on public implemented NRCS Comprehensive service. employer not be subject roadway. Nutrient Management Plan. to state unemployment We recommend the contributions for an We recommend the use of four-way b. Each approved Manure PUC require utilities H-2A worker’s wages. flashers on an agricultural vehicle not Management Plan. to reseed agricultural areas impacted be required if amber beacon lights can by utility development with the same Land Use be seen from 360 degrees. c. Erosion controlling structures plant varieties that existed before including diversion ditches, grass development. We recommend county-wide We recommend farm vehicles waterways, stone waterways and transfer of development rights (TDR) with the Type B and Type C biennial terraces. We recommend utilities be programs for farmland preservation certification of exemption have a 50- exclusively liable for damages or be established that: a. Apply to any mile radius of operation from the d. NRCS or County injuries resulting from interaction with contiguous farmland parcel of 10 acres farmer’s farm. Conservation District approved an above-ground utility line that is or more within a county’s boundaries, manure holding structures. below legally required minimum height. b. Allow an initial TDR unit to be sold We recommend increasing by right, subject to the availability registration/road use fees for electric e. Each acre of forested or We recommend all newly installed of funds, c. Allow subsequent TDR cars to offset the loss of gas tax revenue. wooded acres. or replacement underground utility lines units to be eligible for sale, based on be required to be a minimum of three- a ranking system similar to those used We recommend PennDOT be f. Positive ratios of pervious to feet deep. by county agricultural land preservation required to notify CDL drivers and impervious areas.” boards, subject to the payment of fees to commercial truck owners of spotted   State Government the municipality in which the farmland lanternfly regulations and penalties with Amend current policy (PFB, p. 42, is located, d. Require TDR fees paid to their license and registration renewal. Stormwater and Erosion Control, no. 9) We recommend the use of municipalities be restricted in use for to read: “We recommend Pennsylvania state lottery fund the purchase of subsequent TDRs in Natural Resources agriculture be exempt from Municipal appropriations remain that municipality, e. Allow development Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) exclusively for senior rights to be repurchased by the original We recommend water quality requirements mandated under the services and care. TDR seller on a one-time basis, subject Federal Clean Water Act, and that to a financial penalty equal to twice the monitoring in local watersheds be all mandated Municipal Separate Storm We recommend current TDR value, f. Provide incentives Sewer System (MS4) implementation that the title of all for the development of land with low used to verify theoretical data in the be funded by the state.” state grants clearly identify the source farm potential or conservation value. of money used for a particular grant Chesapeake Bay Model. We recommend the funds collected program. Marketing from Act 89 of 2013 be used for storm We recommend any review of a water projects for townships and We recommend additional state We recommend restaurants and municipalities, after county-owned funding for the FARMLINK program. stores be required to mandated DEP permit must be funded bridges are repaired. name their source of “locally” produced by the state (not by the permit holder) or We recommend increased funding products, which shall from DEP for agricultural Erosion and be defined as no greater the permit not be required. Sediment Control plans. than 150 air miles. We recommend permit fees by all Amend current policy (PFB, p. 42, Taxes Motor Vehicle Code Stormwater and Erosion Control, no. 4) government agencies be waived for to read: “We oppose any fee or, tax or We recommend extending the gross ordinance based on stormwater runoff.” maximum vehicle weight to 90,000 farmers to repair or replace non-public We recommend owners of land pounds for farmers hauling their own We recommend no additional product, without the need to obtain a agricultural culverts, pipes or bridges.  geographic or watershed-wide enrolled in Clean and Green be given permit.  prohibitions be imposed on fracking We oppose increases in individual activity.  a six-month safe harbor from roll Amend current policy (PFB, p. 31, State Emergencies) to read: “We and general CAFO permit fees that We recommend any new well drilled back taxes and interest to correct any recommend vehicles transporting within 150 feet of a property line record essential supplies to farms or perishable would make Pennsylvania agriculture an exemption on their deed releasing a deficiency arising from the unintentional farm products from farms be exempt neighboring landowner from manure from vehicle restrictions imposed less competitive when compared to spreading setbacks for the well. change in a qualified land use or other during declared emergencies.” other states. Amend current policy (PFB, p. 44, enrollment criteria. Amend current policy (PFB, p. 32, Weed Control, Plants, no. 5) to read: Vehicle Code and Agriculture, Farm Amend current policy (PFB, p. 42, “We recommend PennDOT, counties We recommend the Pennsylvania Implements and Ag Vehicles, no. 2) to and townships uphold the same read: “We recommend farm equipment Stormwater and Erosion Control, no. standards and requirements to control Board of Finance and Review refund be permitted to be operated on non- noxious weeds along state-maintained interstate limited access highways 2) to read: “We oppose any additional roads and right-of-ways as farmers are fuel tax monies within 45 days of the around population centers when: a. required to do.” authority to perform file date. Public Land and Facilities stormwater planning, Amend current policy (PFB, p. 55, We recommend all state game lands management and and state forests be opened to horse Real Property Taxes, back riding. implementation for Exemptions from Public Utilities and which responsible Broadband Property Tax, no. 1) to and uniform rates We recommend requiring the read: “We recommend Pennsylvania Department of General are based in whole or in part on the the following should quantity or quality of stormwater that be exempt from a property generates, or under which property tax: f. Public roadways and the authority may establish a program public utility right-of-ways on private that enables property owners to reduce property.” their rates and charges by implementing We recommend the Pennsylvania and maintaining stormwater best Department of Revenue provide farmers management practices that reduce with a sales tax exemption number for the quantity or improve the quality qualified purchases. of the stormwater that their property We recommend assessments issued generates. We recommend that for for non-reported property improvements government agencies and authorities be reported yearly to all municipalities levying Stormwater Management within a county. Fees, offsetting credits to those fees be

12 Country Focus January 2020 717.232.5000 The service offers experienced legal advice on all with respect to the use of the property being materially changed. These rights are aspects of estate, succession and business planning exercisable by the company prior to ever even committing to construct a solar (such as wills, trusts, partnerships, LLCs and facility on the property. corporations), estate settlement and many other legal matters encountered by farmers. Legal Service Plan is Another lease provision that needs to be carefully negotiated is the parties’ a fee-based service paid for by the member using it. obligations with respect to property taxes. A typical lease will impose the obligation to pay property taxes on the landowner, including taxes attributable to the value of Editor’s note: This column explores legal issues that impact the farm the solar facility. A properly negotiated lease should require the company to pay community. It is authored by attorneys working for the law firm of Mette, Evans all property taxes attributable to their improvements, the underlying ground they & Woodside, who service PFB’s Legal Service Plan. Members who use the occupy, and any other increases above the current assessment of the property. Legal Service Plan attorney pay directly for those services. Likewise, the lease should impose the burden on the company to pay roll-back Update on Solar Leases in Pennsylvania and Further Land- or recapture taxes which result from the inevitable disqualification of the property owner Considerations from Clean and Green or any other preferential tax assessment program. Although distinct from property tax, the lease should also require the company to pay all By Jacob H. Kiessling, Esq., PFB Legal Service Plan realty transfer taxes assessed as a result of the execution of the lease. In the July 2019 edition of this publication, I published an article entitled Engaging an attorney experienced in solar lease negotiations to review and “Solar Leases: Landowners Beware,” which was in response to an increase in calls negotiate a solar lease is essential to avoid the many potential pitfalls of a solar from PFB members regarding solar lease proposals. Over the past six months, the lease. PFB’s Legal Service Plan attorneys have extensive experience reviewing prevalence of solar proposals has continued to increase. The prior article discussed and negotiating solar and other alternative energy leases and can work with you to a number of central issues, including decommissioning requirements and security, ensure that you and your land are protected. You can contact them through PFB at determination of lease areas, and minimum acreage requirements. As mentioned 717.761.2740 or, or directly via email at [email protected] if you in that article, however, those topics barely scratch the surface of the legal issues need their assistance for these or other legal matters. contained in a solar lease. This article addresses a few additional topics prevalent in most solar leases that are important to landowners. Upcoming PFB Legal Service Plan Attorneys Availability: January 23 & 24 – Tioga, Bradford, Sullivan, Potter One of the most inconsistent provisions found in the majority of solar leases January 30 & 31 – Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming, Lackawanna is the timing and clarity of the various “stages” of the lease term and the payment February 5 & 6 – PA Dairy Summit (State College) obligations of the company which are tied to those stages. Often times, in addition to February 13 – Lancaster, Chester or in lieu of an “option period” (the period during which the company has an option or right to lease the property), a lease will provide for a “development period” and/or New Game Commissioner Appointed a “construction period” which precede the “operations period.” These early periods will sometimes appear to last for only a few years, but upon careful inspection, A Warren County biologist has been appointed as the newest member of the actually begin and end upon the occurrence of future events which are out of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. landowner’s control and may never occur, resulting in an indiscernible lease term. Kristen Schnepp-Giger will fill the vacant District 1 position on the board, More importantly, the company’s payment obligations are often determined by which represents Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and the current period of the lease term. During the development or construction period, Warren counties. the company’s payment obligations are only a few thousand dollars per year. Once construction begins and the construction period is underway, the property is no Schnepp-Giger has served as a wildlife biologist for the National Wild Turkey longer available for farming and, once again, most leases provide no meaningful Federation since 2011, holding a cooperative position with Allegheny National payment to the landowner. The obligation to make rent payments based on the Forest. She has been engaged in youth hunting programs and founded “Moments property acreage does not begin until the future operations period, which may or on Target,” an organization that connects youth grieving the loss of a loved one with may not occur. outdoor activities, as she helped to engage her young children in hunting following the death of her husband. Under these terms, a landowner could find himself many years into a lease with restrictions on the use and ownership of the property, but with no meaningful With Schnepp-Giger’s appointment, the Game Commission is back up to its compensation and no right to terminate the lease. If construction has begun, the full complement of commissioners. landowner may be losing additional years of income with no reasonable expectation of compensation from the company. The periods comprising the term of the lease Six labs, criss-crossing the state to bring must be properly negotiated to set maximum time limits in order to protect the landowner’s financial interests and to encourage the company to diligently endeavor agriculture education to K-8th graders Mobile Ag Ed to construct and operate a solar facility. on the road. . . Jan. - Feb. 2020 Related to the lease term “periods” are the rights of and permitted uses by the ® company during those periods. Most solar leases and options confer significant rights to the company during the option and development periods without reciprocal Dates School School District Science LabSM protections for the landowner. For example, most leases and options allow the company to apply for government approvals and permits or to rezone or reclassify Jan. 6-10 County the property during the early periods, which may result in the landowner’s rights Jan. 13-17 Jan. 13-17 Helping Farmers 1 Acre at a Time Jan. 13-17 Northern Middle School Northern York County SD York Jan. 21-24 Wyoming Area Secondary Wyoming Area SD Luzerne CALL ACE DRONE SERVICES FOR CROP ANALYZATION, SPRAYING AND CROP Jan. 21-24 Line Mountain Elementary Line Mountain SD Northumberland COUNTING. LEARN HOW A DRONE CAN REDUCE YOUR COST AND GIVE YOU A Jan. 21-24 Southside Elementary South Side Area SD Beaver HIGHER RETURN IN YIELDS Jan. 21-23 Line Mountain Middle School Line Mountain Sd Northumberland CHRIS RYAN Jan. 28-31 Harmony Elementary Harmony Area SD Clearfield (718) 704-9435 Jan. 27-31 Green Ridge Elementary Cumberland Valley SD Cumberland [email protected] Jan. 27-31 Woodward Elementary Keystone Central SD Clinton Jan. 27-29 Holy Family Academy Private Luzerne Feb. 3-7 West Manheim Elem South Western SD York Feb. 3-7 Shalom Christian Academy Private Franklin Feb. 3-7 Robb Elementary Keystone Central SD Clinton Feb. 3-5 Salladasburg Elementary Jersey Shore SD Lycoming Feb. 10-14 Delta-Peach Bottom Elementary South Eastern SD York Feb. 10-12 Middle Paxton Elementary Central Dauphin SD Dauphin Mill Hall Elementary Keystone Central SD Clinton DHH Lengel Middle Pottsville Area SD Schuylkill Liberty Curtain Elementary Keystone Central SD Clinton

January 2020 13 Country Focus Pa. Farmer Tapped for Precision Ag Task Force A Pennsylvania farmer could have a hand in shaping the future of broadband Andy Bater, second from right, participates in the first meeting of the FCC’s Precision connectivity and precision agriculture in the United States. Ag Connectivity Task Force last month. Andy Bater, of Centre County, was selected to serve on the Federal A PARTNER IN PENNSYLVANIA Communications Commission’s Precision Agriculture Connectivity Task Force. AGRICULTURE The 15-member panel is charged with identifying the availability of broadband internet access on agricultural land and developing policy recommendations for IN THE FIELD, ON THE FARM, IN THE CLINIC. expanding broadband to 95 percent of U.S. agricultural land by 2025. Learn how we support Pennsylvania’s vibrant agriculture industry:[email protected] Bater said he applied to serve on the task force because it combined two of his major interests. After retiring from a career as a digital television engineer, Bater returned to his farming roots and grows switchgrass for mulch, animal bedding and biofuels research on his 60-acre farm. As a television engineer, he worked closely with the FCC on regulatory and policy matters. As a farmer, he’s fascinated with the possibilities that technology can bring when it comes to helping farmers tackle challenges such as labor shortages and minimizing their environmental footprint. “There are unbelievable opportunities with precision agriculture to help with some of the challenges we face now,” Bater said. Bater serves as Centre County Farm Bureau president; however, he is serving on the task force in the role of a small farmer, not as a representative of Farm Bureau. The task force was created to address one of the major challenges farmers face: Access to high-speed internet in rural areas. While farm technology is becoming increasingly advanced to help farmers farm more efficiently and better protect the environment, many producers cannot take advantage of such advancements because they lack broadband connectivity on their farms. In addition to policy recommendations, the task force will examine regulatory steps the FCC can take and how the FCC can obtain reliable data on broadband access to better target its resources. The panel had its first meeting last month and is starting by examining the current state of broadband availability as well as the current and future technology needs of agriculture. Farm ShowsVisit PFB at Upcoming Best-In-Class* Capability for Work or Play. The Ford F-150 makes Pennsylvania Farm Bureau will Representatives from Mette, Evans & tough tasks look easy, whether you’re working on the job or heading out on a weekend of showcase its important role in the Woodside, which services PFB’s Legal recreation. F-150 outperforms every other truck in its class when hauling cargo in the bed agricultural community at two popular Service Plan, will also be in attendance or towing a trailer.** farm shows this month. to answer questions related to obtaining legal services. Farm Bureau members receive The organization will have booths at the Keystone Farm Show in York Pennsylvania Farm Show 500$ BONUS and the Pennsylvania Farm Show in The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs CASH*** Harrisburg to show the public the work we do on behalf of agriculture. Please Jan. 4 through 11. As Pennsylvania’s 2019 FORD F-150 make sure to stop by both shows and signature display of agriculture for learn more about the value of your Farm the general public, the show is Farm Bureau membership. Bureau’s opportunity to showcase for consumers the great work farmers do to Keystone Show produce food and care for their land and The Keystone Farm Show runs Jan. animals. 7 through 9 at the York Fairgrounds. Our Pennsylvania Friends of PFB’s booth can be found inside Agriculture Foundation will have an interactive corn hole game that helps kids the Utz Area. There, you can talk with understand how their food is produced. staff from PFB’s Member Relations and Staff from PFB’s Government Affairs Government Affairs & Communications & Communications divisions will be on divisions, MSC Business Services, and hand to answer questions. PFB Health Services. Staff can answer questions about legislative issues, health insurance, member benefits, PFB programs, and business management. Don’t miss out on this offer. Visit today! *Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation. **Max payload on F-150 XL Regular Cab, 8’ box, 5.0L V8 4x2, Heavy-Duty Payload Package and 18” heavy-duty wheels (not shown). Max towing on F-150 XL SuperCrew®, 6.5’ box, 3.5L EcoBoost® 4x2, and Max Trailer Tow Package (not shown). ***Farm Bureau Bonus Cash is exclusively for active Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. This incentive is not available on Mustang Shelby® GT350/350R, Mustang BULLITT, Ford GT, Focus RS and F-150 Raptor. This offer may not be used in conjunction with most other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. Must be a Farm Bureau member for 30 consecutive days prior to purchase and take new retail delivery from dealer by January 2, 2020. Visit or see your authorized Ford Dealer for qualifications and complete details. 24446_FD_8.5x11_Flyer_Gen_Q4.indd 1 8/29/19 11:46 AM

14 Country Focus January 2020 John Newton, Ph.D., American Farm Bureau Federation If the Class III milk price were based on blocks alone, it would have been as Market Intelligence Director much as 75 cents to $1 per hundredweight higher in some months. Since 2017, the average change in the Class III milk price would have been 23 cents per Cheese Prices, Do We Have A Problem? hundredweight. Regulated milk prices guaranteed to farmers in the U.S. are based on end- With more than 60 billion pounds of milk utilized in Class III each year, i.e., milk product pricing formulas and mandatory price reporting for wholesale butter, used for cheese production, the block-barrel spread is equivalent to a $573-million- cheddar cheese and dry milk powders. This pricing methodology was crafted nearly dollar shortfall in Class III revenue. This is money many farmers would like to have two decades ago and has remained virtually unchanged since then. seen in the FMMO revenue sharing pools, and had it been included, the national average regulated minimum milk price would have increased by approximately 16 A Widening Block-Barrel Spread cents per hundredweight. One of the challenges of a regulated, rigid pricing system is the unintended Solutions on the Horizon economic impacts of the free market. This is the case in today’s cheese and whey While the block-barrel spread has the current attention of the dairy industry, this markets. For the better part of the last 20 years, block and barrel cheese prices have followed each other closely, with an average difference of 1 cent per pound, is not the first time milk pricing formulas have been subject to additional scrutiny and milk pricing formulas essentially weighted them equally. Since 2017, however, due to rapidly changing supply and demand factors for specific dairy products. things have changed: Increased barrel cheese production and increased demand for In 2014 the difference between the value of whey protein concentrate and the dry whey proteins derived from barrel cheese have resulted in a widening price spread whey price used in the FMMO pricing system reached as much as $1.20 per pound. between block and barrel cheese. That spread is equivalent to a nearly $600-million- Given that a 10-cent change in whey prices is equivalent to approximately 59 cents dollar reduction in dairy farm revenue over the past two and a half years. This per hundredweight in the Class III price, the difference of $1.20 represented more divergence in block and barrel prices was likely unforeseen by the architects of the than $7 per hundredweight—real money to dairy farmers. current milk pricing system two decades ago. Because these higher-valued whey proteins were not used to determine farm- USDA announces a monthly weighted average price for cheddar cheese based level milk prices, some believed millions of dollars in Class III revenue were on the prices of both 40-pound blocks and 500-pound barrels. The announced left on the table. As a result, some argued that the FMMO pricing system should cheese price is equal to the weighted average of the block price and the barrel price be modified to reflect the whey protein concentrate value and not the dry whey plus 3 cents. Prior to 2017, the difference between the block price and the barrel value. Shortly thereafter, whey protein concentrate production reached a record- price averaged slightly more than 1 cent per pound and ranged from a low of -9.6 high and prices declined, reflecting the market response to price signals with prices cents per pound to a high of 13 cents per pound. However, beginning in 2017, realigning without intervention. the block-barrel spread began to widen, averaging nearly 10 cents per pound and reaching a record-high of 22 cents per pound in October 2018. It is important to note that end-product pricing formulas are working exactly as designed by reflecting the value of both blocks and barrels in the milk price formula. The widening block-barrel spread is due to a variety of factors. First, growing The challenge is that when end-product pricing was envisioned, a wide block-barrel milk supplies and tight processing capacity in some regions led to distressed milk spread was unanticipated, and now the impact is perceived to be weighing down being dumped or sold at a discount. Any of this milk that flowed into barrel cheese regulated milk prices. production likely increased supplies and contributed to lower prices. Continued barrel production in the face of low prices is made more sustainable depending on Many dairy industry stakeholders seeking to tweak federal dairy policy have the magnitude of the price discount of milk going into the plant. pointed to the block-barrel spread’s impact on farm milk checks as evidence that milk pricing regulations need to be updated. Milk pricing rules are nearly 20 years Second, cheese exports—mostly blocks—have improved in recent years. old, and FMMO revenue sharing and minimum pricing enforcement rules are more Cheddar cheese exports increased 43 percent in 2017 and then increased by 14 than 80 years old. percent in 2018. Year-to-date cheese exports are up 13 percent from prior-year levels. The increased demand for block cheddar cheese has increased the price There are several ideas being proposed to address the wide block-barrel spread. relative to barrel cheese. Some have suggested the barrel manufacturers recalibrate their supply chain to produce blocks as well. This, however, is not a short-run solution and would require Other factors also contribute to the wide price gap between blocks and barrels; substantial capital investments. these factors include a reduction in processed cheese demand (i.e., barrels) and increased demand for white whey, a byproduct of barrel cheese production. With respect to milk pricing formulas, some have suggested dropping barrels from the survey and end-product pricing formula altogether. Eliminating barrel Impact on Milk Prices and Dairy Farm Revenue prices from the survey and formulas would put the onus of price discovery in cheese Since end-product pricing formulas use the weighted average of block and markets on blocks alone; without mandatory price reporting, market signals, such as the block-barrel spread, would be less transparent. barrel prices, the impact of a wide block-barrel spread results in a Class III milk price that reflects both high-valued blocks and lower-valued barrels. In fact, since Another option includes expanding the survey and milk pricing formulas to 2000 the weight of barrels in the Class III milk pricing formula has been 50 percent, include other cheese prices such as 640-pound blocks or mozzarella—effectively thus when barrels are at a substantial discount to blocks, half of the price discount reducing the reliance on barrel cheese in milk pricing regulations. This would manifests in the Class III milk price. certainly lead to a higher announced Class III milk price based on current market conditions. Crop Insurance Agency Dwayne A. Salem But…simply changing the FMMO pricing formula may not have the desired President impact. First, if the block-barrel spread will self-correct, then removing barrels [email protected] from the pricing formula could result in lower milk prices and revenue to farmers 717-926-4355 if a premium reflecting the historical difference is not included. This market could self-correct as we move from a market that was long milk into a short-supplied P.O. Box 156 market. Note that prior to 2017, the use of barrels in the pricing formula represented Myerstown, PA $765 million in Class III revenue. 17067-0156 Second, the use of only blocks in the pricing formula will increase only the Proudly Representing regulated minimum price paid by beverage milk plants. FMMO minimum prices are not enforced on milk used to produce manufactured dairy products such as cheese or butter. Dairy cooperatives are also not required to pay minimum milk prices to their members. Thus, raising the benchmark Class III price will not change the ability or frequency of plants purchasing milk at prices other than the FMMO announced prices. These plants must account to the FMMO pool at the classified value, but the minimum pricing provisions end there. As a result, the higher announced Class III price that uses only blocks could be offset by lower premiums or other discounts—resulting in no change to the market clearing milk price. Expanding mandatory price reporting would increase the amount of information available to the dairy industry for price discovery. But why stop there? Why not also include prices paid for milk solids and sales prices for a variety of value-added dairy products? Farmers, processors and cooperatives could use this information for price negotiations and create a real-time spot market for milk and milk components used to produce manufactured milk products. If the desire is to improve milk price discovery, more, not less, information may be the way to go.

January 2020 15 Country Focus You can’t control the weather. But you CAN manage your risk. Enroll by March 15 Contact your local FSA o ce or nd a crop insurance agent at CROPINSURANCEPA.PA.GOV or call 717-783-8462

16 Country Focus January 2020 CommitteeAG PROMOTION Banking Regulators Offer Guidance on Financing Hemp Four federal agencies associated with the banking industry have By Chris Hoffman, PFB Ag Promotion Committee Chair provided guidance to banks on financing producers, processors AFBF Promotion & Education Committee Chair and retailers of hemp and hemp products. Those engaged in the hemp industry have experienced setbacks in accessing the banking Welcome to 2020. The Ag Promotion Committee thanks you for a successful system. The action has provided clarification that eliminates a Suspicious Activity year in 2019. We now have a brand-new year with all kinds of opportunities. So Report on hemp producers that are approved under a federal or state license plan. how will your year end up? Industrial hemp may now be produced in Pennsylvania under the guidance of the state Department of Agriculture. Under the new federal guidance, banks may be I can tell you that most opportunities just happen. They are not planned. I didn’t more willing to finance hemp operations with the understanding that it is no longer set out to become America’s Pig Farmer of the Year. But when the National Pork listed under the federal Controlled Substance Act. Board named me to that role last year, I was ready to seize the opportunity. Penn State Scheduling Workshops on Woodland Preservation The Ag Promotion Committee is here to help you be prepared to seize Workshops are being organized in the Pennsylvania Wilds and opportunities to tell agriculture’s story when they present themselves. We do that Laurel Highlands to address perpetuating woodland properties by offering tools, training and programing to help you sharpen your skills. To meet that are destined for transfer to new owners. The sessions will that mission, we will be hosting another Ag Promotion Conference on March 7. emphasize the legal and financial aspects of achieving protection of Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. The last two conferences focused woodland acreage and applying conservation measures which provide for a vibrant on the first two parts of PFB’s Mission Statement: Growing Communities, Many forested area throughout the region. Key forest habitats will be identified for Voices. This year, we will focus on the final part: UNITED VISION. restoration to support wildlife and improve water quality. Allyson Muth, Penn State assistant research professor, will organize the workshops and may be contacted at The power of Farm Bureau is in its grassroots. There is power in numbers. This 814.865.3208 or [email protected] past Christmas season, the National Pork Board asked for my help in pushing the nationwide campaign #HamsAcrossAmerica. This program is designed to make Organic Grain Imports Continue to Increase sure we feed the hungry over the holidays. As I worked to get this campaign rolling, Imports of organic grains have increased in the U.S. by 5 percent I began to see others working alongside of me, trying to make an impact. over last year. Buyers of organic grains have turned to alternate sources from around the world to compensate for a poor harvest, As I look back on why this was such a success, I’d say it was because we had particularly of corn, from the 2019 growing season. Organic imports a UNITED VISION. It is easy to understand what the vision is: Feed the Hungry! of commodities originating from Russia and Romania have increased substantially. What made it work was having many people UNITED around that same vision. I Growers of certified organic grain are needed in Pennsylvania to supply the state’s think that the same goes for advocating for agriculture. We need to stand together organic poultry industry and other livestock enterprises. Penn State Extension is and deliver the same positive message. I realize that over the past few years, farming also working to bring organic grain production to Pennsylvania and can provide has been tough. But I believe that the future is bright, and our story is a good one. details to interested agricultural producers. In 2016, Pennsylvania ranked second to California for organic production. So, I hope that you will plan to spend the day with us on March 7 in State College. Our committee has a great vision for the future and we want to share our passion with you. So, I will ask you as I did in the beginning of this column: What will your year have in store for you? Thanks again for what you do. We need everyone to join in our mission. Make sure you share with us all your success stories. Stay safe this winter season. Green Flag. Farm friendly. Understanding what’s important. Working with a bank that appreciates the value of a hard day’s work is important. A bank that’s been inside your community and working with agribusiness for generations. At M&T Bank, we know what it takes to get the job done – to help get you the lending you need. That’s why we’re a preferred lender of small business agriculture loans in Pennsylvania.1 So let’s get to work. Contact your local Agribusiness Specialist: Luke Walton | 717-241-7787 | [email protected] 1Approved to offer SBA loan products under SBA’s Preferred Lender program. SBA loans are subject to SBA eligibility. Equal Housing Lender. ©2019 M&T Bank. Member FDIC. 38091 191218 VF

January 2020 17 Country Focus Editor’s Note: Pennsylvania Farm Bureau monitors House Bill 1224 Senate Bill 334 Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS a number of state and federal issues that are of Would authorize the Milk Marketing Board to This bill would eliminate authority of school Status: Passed by Agriculture and Rural Affairs interest to our members. Along with the bills printed coordinate with the Department of Revenue in districts and municipalities to file appeals to Committee in June; awaiting vote by full House. here, you can research legislation by visiting www. coordinating the collection and distribution of challenge tax assessment values of individual real and clicking on the “Act Now” button. PMMB’s mandated over-order premium. property tax parcels, except when the parcel has Senate Bill 583 Prime Sponsor: Rep. John Lawrence gone through a countywide reassessment, been This bill would authorize performance of agritourism Harrisburg Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS divided into smaller parcels, or a change in the activities on farms preserved under the state Status: Passed by House in December. productive use of the property has occurred. farmland preservation program, and provides House Bill 1772 Prime Sponsor: Sen. David Argall means for farmers to obtain timely approval of Would authorize landowners to provide notice House Bills 105, 1603 and 333 Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS practices from county preservation boards. of areas of property in which entry or presence These bills would bring state policy for small Status: Passed by Senate Urban Affairs and Prime Sponsor: Sen. Ryan Aument is prohibited through the use of paint markings businesses in line with federal standards to allow Housing Committee in October. Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS meeting minimum specified criteria, which will for like-kind exchanges, deducting losses against Status: Passed by Senate and referred to House be recognized as sufficient “notice” in conviction future years’ income, and increasing the limit for Senate Bill 453 and House Bill 1037 Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee in May. of persons entering such areas under “defiant equipment depreciation deductions to $1 million. These bills would provide a conditional exemption trespasser” provisions. from requirements and standards normally House Bill 2032 Prime Sponsor: Rep. Dawn Keefer Prime Sponsor: Reps. Jim Cox, Seth Grove imposed under the Statewide Building Code in This bill would change state law to stop H-2A guest Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS and Eric Nelson use of agricultural buildings originally constructed workers and their farm employers from having to Status: Signed by governor. Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS before 1999 for social events (such as weddings), pay into the unemployment compensation fund. Status: House Bills 105 and 333 were passed by provided the building and event meet standards Prime Sponsor: Rep. Torren Ecker House Bill 1223 the House Finance Committee in November and and requirements specifically prescribed in the Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS This bill would authorize the state to establish up to are awaiting votes by the full chamber. House Bill legislation. Status: Passed by Senate and referred to House 20 Keystone Opportunity Dairy Zones, which would 1603 was referred to House Finance Committee. Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee in May. provide state income tax and sales tax exemptions Prime Sponsors: Sen. Judy Ward and Rep. and allow for municipalities to provide local tax Senate Bill 679 John Lawrence Washington exemptions, deductions, abatements and credits to This bill would establish a program for expedited Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS dairy enterprises within the zone. permitting for counties to perform stream Status: Senate bill 453 passed by Senate and H.R. 4229 Prime Sponsor: Rep. John Lawrence maintenance and cleaning in response to effects referred to House Labor and Industry Committee This bill, known as the Broadband Deployment Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS of flooding and post flood conditions. in May; House Bill 1037 passed by Agriculture and Accuracy and Technological Availability Act, would Status: Passed by House in December. Prime Sponsor: Sen. Gene Yaw Rural Affairs Committee in May and awaiting vote improve the accuracy of broadband coverage maps Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS by full House. and better direct federal funds for buildout. Status: Passed by Senate Environmental Prime Sponsor: Rep. David Loebsack (D-IA) Resources and Energy Committee in November. House Bill 1348 Farm Bureau Position: SUPPORTS This bill would provide to farmers engaged in Status: Introduced and referred to House agritourism enterprises on their farm limited Energy and Commerce Committee. protection from civil liability for injuries caused as a result of a person’s participation in an agritourism activity. Prime Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Gleim CoSAFrETnY er stress and their emotions, learn positive coping strategies to deal with stressors, and By Jana Davidson, Education Content Specialist, provide resources to go home to the families to encourage open conversations and Progressive Agriculture Foundation to break the stigma surrounding mental health. Building A Mental Health Toolkit As we kick-off 2020, let’s strive for a year that is not only successful, but less stressful for our families living in agricultural communities. Let’s vow to strengthen The start of a new year and a new decade can symbolize a fresh start or new our mental well-being and stress management by building a mental health toolkit with some New Year’s resolutions worth keeping: beginnings. However, for many the new year can generate feelings of failure due • Adopt better sleep habits. Prepare yourself for a restful night’s sleep by to missed opportunities or goals not previously met. Additionally, the holiday cheer securing a comfortable environment by turning off electronics, lights and other distractions that may stimulate the brain. and socializing amplified in November and December often comes to a screeching • Begin an exercise regimen. Start with small changes by opting for the stairs over the elevator and take stretch breaks during the workday. halt at the beginning of the year and tends to bring about feelings of sadness, • Find a hobby. Don’t be afraid to try something new or go back to doing something you enjoy. emptiness and depression. • Take a social media break. Put down the smartphone or turn off the computer. This past year was an especially difficult one for our farmers. Mother Nature • Utilize stress management techniques. Try yoga or meditation, to get you to a relaxed state. provided a vast amount of issues to extend the harvest season. Weather issues • Get organized. Use a planner and set goals for yourself. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment crossing things off your list! combined with financial burdens and the economy added to farmers’ stress levels. • Keep a journal. Instead of dwelling over negative thoughts, put them down on paper and then you can “close the book on them” and enjoy your This stress combined with long workdays can take a toll on mental health. day. • Volunteer. Not only does it feel good to help a friend or give back to We would be naïve to believe that your community, but volunteering is a great way to connect and cultivate relationships. adults are the only ones feeling stress. • Strengthen your communication skills. Reach out and talk to someone, as well as be a good listener. Farm families, including children, are • Treat yourself, as well as others, with respect. Remember, we are all human, we make mistakes, and we miss goals, but maintaining a positive not immune to feeling stress. Therefore, outlook is key. Progressive Agriculture Safety Days is recognized as the largest rural safety and after a primary focus on farm safety health education program for children in North America. For more information or to locate a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day near you, visit www.progressiveag. for the past 25 years, Progressive org or call 888-257-3529. Help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in 2020 with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word Agriculture Safety Days is turning “SAFETYDAY” to 44321. their attention to the overall health of children living in rural and agricultural communities. Farm Credit supported this effort through sponsoring a youth- At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, focused mental health and rural stress volunteers, such as Clearfield County roundtable held last fall. The roundtable Farm Bureau President Frank Snyder helped identify the basic content and (pictured), are truly the heart of our laid the framework for the creation of program. Volunteering offers vital help to a youth mental well-being and stress people in need, worthwhile causes, and management chapter. The new chapter the community, but the benefits can be will focus on hands-on activities even greater for you, the volunteer. tailored to help children understand

18 Country Focus January 2020 WE. CinhenseterrsHAeimnnScohuolnarcsheidp New Account Supervisors Hired Winners of E. Chester Heim Scholarships sponsored by the Pennsylvania Michelle Ammon MSC Business Services has announced the hiring of Alexa Pitcher two new account supervisors. Michelle Ammon has been Friends of Agriculture Foundation for 2019-2020 were recently recognized during hired to serve clients in Greene and Washington counties. a banquet for recipients of scholarships awarded by Penn State’s College of Alexa Pitcher has been hired to serve clients in Erie, Agricultural Sciences. Crawford, Warren and Venango counties as well as parts of Clarion and Mercer counties. Winners of this year’s scholarship are: • Michael Huggins, an animal science major from Perry County. Ammon, of Washington County, comes to MSCBS • Jenna Dunk, an agriculture major from Mifflin County. with more than 12 years’ experience in tax preparation • Brooke Arner, an immunology and infectious disease major from and planning with a large public accounting firm. She Armstrong County. has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Waynesburg University and master’s degrees in taxation and accounting from Robert Morris and Kent State universities. She grew up on a farm in Greene County and lives with her husband and two yorkies. Pitcher, of Ashtabula County, Ohio, worked as an accountant for a CPA firm before coming to MSCBS. She has a degree in accounting from Hiram College. Pitcher lives in Ashtabula with her husband, William, and daughters, Mia and Emma. She enjoys spending time with family, golfing and horseback riding. S MtaffMEET THE sc FACCTS AND OF QUICKBOOKS ADVISOR Sadie Heim (seated, left), widow of E. Chester Heim, the respected and beloved former Tara Sue Myers Pennsylvania Farm Bureau staff member for whom the scholarship is named, attended the banquet with her daughter, Sadie Brenner (second from right). Michael Huggins Years of Service: Three months (standing, right) is one of the scholarship recipients. What role do you play in MSC Business Services? Bookkeeping specialist and team player. What’s your favorite part of your job? Working with all the different clients, being able to problem solve, learning new aspects in the accounting world and working with everyone here. Raleigh Masters, Young Ag Professionals Chair What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work? Best holiday wishes from your Young Ag Professionals chair. I sit here watching the air get crisper by the day, and snowfall is expected this week. Without doubt, Reading, riding four wheeler with my son, Rhett, winter and the New Year are both quickly upon us. I ask you to think about 2020 playing board games and cards with my family, doing projects around the house, with me for a moment and see if you can find a way to help us make our committee cooking and baking with my stepdaughter, Abbi. bigger, stronger and more visible than ever before. What’s your dream vacation and why? But first let, me tell you some of what we have accomplished this past fall so Alaska. I would love to see the northern lights, a moose, maybe do some fishing you know how dedicated we are to this committee’s success. and explore the state. Back in November, several committee members and I attended Annual Meeting in Hershey. We hosted our YAPAuction which raised a whopping $13,728.91. Some What’s your favorite movie? of the money raised will go to county Farm Bureaus that donated auction items to The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Tim Burton movie. Jack Skellington is help send their YAP members to our Leadership Conference. The rest of the money helps our committee fund programs to engage Young Ag Professionals throughout an amazing character. the state. We would like to thank every county in the state for their donations for our auction. Also, for the first time ever at Annual Meeting, we hosted an FFA and You might not know… 4-H meet-and-greet hoping to unite these two organizations and foster their future I went to F&M College when I was 14 years old and took astronomy. I wanted involvement in YAP. to work for NASA and fly to the moon. It’s still on my bucket list! Looking ahead to February, I must proudly announce that registration is open for our 2020 YAP Leadership Conference, which will be held February 15 and 16 at the We have job openings! Find Your Next Career at Eden Resort in Lancaster. Keynote speakers include Eric McElvenny, an amputee endurance athlete and motivational speaker, and Troy Ott, associate director of the Huck Institutes of Life Sciences at Penn State, who will give an update on biotechnology in agriculture. Educational sessions are planned in areas such as no- Join @PAFarmBureau @pafarmbureau till technology, hemp, beekeeping, grain marketing, cultivating a successful county the Farm Bureau YAP program, agritourism insurance, business planning and more. @PennsylvaniaFarmBureau Conversation! Registration is $100 for the conference only, $230 for the conference and a room or $330 for two conference attendees and a room. Follow this link to register: Stay tuned for updates by following our Pennsylvania Young Ag Professionals Facebook page. Signing off and bidding all of you a happy winter!

January 2020 19 Country Focus Grant Funds Ag Lab Visit to Lancaster County Penny Kretzer Dairy farmer and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau State Board Director Luke Brubaker, far CVof otohuleunmntotynetehr Beaver/Lawrence County left, received a $2,500 America’s Farmers Grow Communities from the Monsanto Fund to sponsor the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation’s Mobile Ag Ed Science Penny Kretzer is congratulated by Beaver/ Penny Kretzer has dedicated more Lab to visit Donegal Primary School in Mount Joy, Lancaster County. The Mobile Ag Ed Lawrence County Farm Bureau President than 35 years to Beaver/Lawrence Science Lab is designed to connect students to how agriculture impacts their daily lives Henry Karki. County Farm Bureau. through hands on experiments and lessons. She has served more than three Nationwide, Agents Donate decades on the county board, during Grain Bin Rescue Equipment which she has served as treasurer and has meticulously managed the Emergency responders in several Pennsylvania communities are better prepared organization’s finances. She also to save the lives of farmers trapped in grain bins thanks to specialized equipment works as a membership processor and and training donated through Nationwide’s 2019 Nominate Your Fire Department has served on the county Women’s Contest. Leadership Committee. Four Pennsylvania fire companies were among 34 nationally to receive grain Her fellow members of the county bin rescue tubes and training through the contest, which encourages farmers and board say Kretzer is a dedicated leader county Farm Bureaus to nominate their local fire and rescue companies to win the who is quick to volunteer for any donations. activities or events that benefit the county Farm Bureau and agriculture. Two of the Pennsylvania recipients—Dauntless Fire Company in Ebensburg, She has been involved in planning Farm Cambria County, and Landisburg Fire Company in Perry County—were selected Bureau picnics, dinners, board activities, by Nationwide through the regular contest. And two more Pennsylvania fire farm tours and much more. She has also companies—New Centerville & Rural Volunteer Fire in Somerset County and been involved with the Educator’s Ag United Hook and Ladder Company 33 in New Oxford, Adams County—received Institute program and Ag Encounter, an the equipment and training thanks to $5,000 donations made by two Nationwide annual event that gives local students a agencies, Donner-Farber & Associates and Sechler Insurance Group, both in chance to learn about agriculture and Somerset County. where their food comes from. The goal of the contest if two-fold. First, it seeks to raise awareness of grain bin Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized as a County Volunteer safety, spreading the word that it takes only seconds to become trapped in flowing of the Month? Please recommend to your county board that they be nominated. grain and that farmers need to take safety precautions when working with grain bins. Secondly, it provides rescuers with the specialized equipment and training John Noble, vice president of operations for Donner-Farber, had similar needed to save the life of a farmer or grain handler who does become trapped. thoughts about the rescue tube and training his agency donated to United Hook and Ladder. “Our hope is that even though you never want to see it used, if its needed, According to researchers at Purdue University, more than 900 cases of grain it’s there,” he said. engulfment have been reported with a fatality rate of 62 percent in the past 50 years, with the highest, single-year incident total of 38 documented grain entrapments Donner-Farber was approached by one its clients, AgCom in Adams County, resulting in 18 deaths in 2014. about the possibility of making the donation to its local fire company. United Hook and Ladder had been involved in rescue with another fire company that had the “We encourage farmers and grain handlers to commit to always following grain bin equipment and training and had seen firsthand how valuable it is. safe grain bin safety procedures,” said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness. “Nationwide will continue to build safety awareness through great Noble said his hope is that the donation will allow the fire company to a regional collaboration with industry leaders, agricultural professionals and emergency expert in grain bin rescues that can assist other fire companies if needed. responders. It’s very exciting to see such widespread interest in the mission of zero lives lost.” “It gives them the ability to say to other fire companies: ‘Hey we’ve got an apparatus to do what needs to be done,’” Noble said. “That’s what we saw here For Jason and Scott Sechler of Sechler Insurance Group, grain bin safety is locally was the value of having that equipment. We were really tickled pink to be personal. able to do it.” Their uncle, Somerset County Farm Bureau member Ed O’Brien, became Pennsylvania fire companies learn how to use their new grain bin rescue tubes during entrapped in a grain bin in 2018 and was rescued by a local fire company using the specialized training. The equipment and training were funded by Nationwide and two equipment and training they had received through the Nationwide contest in 2015. Pennsylvania Nationwide agencies. That underscored for the Sechler brothers the importance of having emergency responders prepared and equipped for such rescues. They decided this year to donate equipment and training to the New Centerville fire company. “We’d been thinking about it for quite some time and then that was the icing on the cake,” Scott Sechler said. “You realize how quick it can happen, you can get sucked down into the grain.” Jason Sechler said it’s important that local fire companies, especially in areas with a lot of agriculture, have the tool they need for successful grain bin rescues. “You hope they never need it. But if they do, now the fire company not only has the equipment but they have the training to use it,” he said. “In that situation, if they come upon it, now they have plan of attack.”

September 2020 21 Country Focus Pa. Fire Companies Upcoming Workshops for Women in Awarded Grain Bin Agriculture to Focus on Conservation Rescue Equipment American Farmland Trust is holding a series of workshops this fall in Two Pennsylvania fire companies will be better equipped to rescue farmers or Pennsylvania for women farmers and farmland owners to learn more about grain handlers who become trapped in grain bins. conservation and farmland preservation. Avoca Fire Department in Luzerne County and Womelsdorf Volunteer Fire Learning circles are scheduled for September and October in Perry, Dauphin, Company in Berks County were selected to receive grain bin rescue tubes and York, Lebanon and Adams counties. Each session includes a one- to two-day specialized training through Nationwide’s seventh annual Nominate Your Fire curriculum on conservation options and resources featuring discussions with other Department Contest. local landowners and farmers and services from agencies. There will also be free meals and an optional farm tour. In addition to the support from Nationwide, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Kathy Barry Agency donated to help supply the rescuers with the important To learn more information, including the schedule, and to register, visit https:// equipment and training. The fire companies were among 41 selected across the country as part of the Lisa Wherry, Women’s Leadership Committee Chair annual contest, held by Nationwide, in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety. Hello everyone from the State Women’s Leadership Committee. We are all still faced with challenging times, but keeping the faith will help us to overcome these Every year, thousands of farmers and commercial grain handlers risk their lives bumps in the road. by entering grain bins to remove clumped or rotted grain. As rural communities have come to know all too well, an accident in a grain bin can quickly turn deadly. The State Women’s Leadership Committee has been busy working on some In just seconds, adults can sink to their waists in flowing grain, rendering them changes for the safety contest. The new theme for 2021 is: “Lightning can strike completely trapped without the proper rescue devices. more than once.” The coloring page will still continue, the poster contest is going to be changed to a 3D project and the photo contest will be changed to a video contest. In 2014, Nationwide initiated its Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign to Rules and guidelines will be put on the web site once everything is finalized. educate those entering grain bins about the hazards involved and the importance of implementing safe entry procedures. A central piece of the campaign, the Nominate Congratulations to the winners of this year’s 2020 safety contest, the theme of Your Fire Department Contest, aims to address the lack of specialized resources which was “Be Safe, Don’t Pass.” The winners are: available to rural fire departments who are responding to bin entrapments. Since beginning the efforts, Nationwide has awarded grain rescue tubes and training to • Coloring contest: First place Brody Stiteler, Indiana County; second 152 fire departments in 30 states. place, Rachel Matter, Juniata County. • Poster Contest (ages 7 to 9): First place, Colton Wilks, Bradford County; “We began our Grain Bin Safety campaign in 2014 to support the agriculture second place, Ruby Reyburn, Chester County. community and put an end to avoidable deaths from individuals entering grain • Poster Contest (ages 10 to 12): First place, Ty Showers, Adams County; bins without recognizing the dangers and taking precautions,” said Brad Liggett, second place, Gayle Reyburn, Chester County. president of Nationwide Agribusiness. “Thanks to the generous and increasing • Safety Photo: First place, Olivia Robinson, Chester County; second place, support of our partners, I’m extremely proud to say that we’re providing more Madelyn Lieb, Cambria County. rescue tubes and training to first responders this year than we have ever before.” The committee is working on an uplifting 15-minute virtual Inspirational Pause. It will be a great way to get some positive inspiration and to kick off the The rescue tubes and training awarded through the contest in past years have PFB’s virtual Annual Meeting. already been put into use in Pennsylvania. In 2018, rescuers used equipment and We have a lot of great women farmers so I hope that you submitted those women training they received from Nationwide to save the life of a Somerset County Farm to compete for the Outstanding Woman in Ag. The winner will be announced at the Bureau member who became entrapped in a grain bin. virtual Annual Meeting. The State WLC Farmers Care project this year was another great success. Even “It’s as important as ever to be following proper safety precautions when during these challenging times, the total contribution for this year was more than entering a bin,” said Liggett. “Our goal is to continue these efforts until we can $54,000 in food, gift cards, cash donations, and various other items. Thank you ensure every rural fire department has access to these critical rescue resources.” to all. Even though we had some challenges, you all still continue to find great ways to touch hearts with your kind donations and generosity in helping make Funding, Assistance Farmers Care every year a great success in supporting your local food bank or Available for Stream Buffers Ronald McDonald Houses. The State WLC was unable to have a FARM-Tastic Book this year due to Funding and free assistance are available to property owners who want to restrictions on schools and libraries. The good news is that we have a book planned install streamside buffers on their properties. for when a lot of these restrictions are lifted. Please continue to check out the website; it’s full of great information. The support is made possible through the Pennsylvania Department of Continue to stay safe as you all continue to do you daily activities and prepare Conservation and Natural Resources’ Buffer My Stream program. for fall. God Bless! Property owners can contact the program at 717.705.2820 or online at https:// Seeds for: Conservation Easements Biomass Production Pollinator Habitat Livestock Forage Riparian Areas Buffer Strips [email protected] 800-873-3321

22 Country Focus September 2020 The following information is provided by Nationwide, “It’s really important to consider your property and any safeguards you need the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S. to protect yourself from personal liabilities and property damage,” Cumings said. “There are major differences between having a roadside fruit and vegetable stand Diversifying your operation in the wake of COVID-19 at the end of your driveway and a you-pick operation in which you have visitors directly on your farm.” Long-term financial viability is possible with the right diversification tactics and risk exposure protection strategy. Confirm your new bottom line Beyond a basic assessment of the additional risk you’re taking on in diversifying When times are tight in agriculture, successful farmers and ranchers don’t throw in the towel. You find a way to make things work, even if it means trying your farm or ranch with a new venture, it’s important to consider your revenue something completely new to sustain operational revenue. expectations and match them with the right insurance policy. As a rule of thumb, there’s a direct relationship between increasing risk and revenue potential, and That impulse to sustain your operation combined with the spike in demand realistic expectations for the latter will help ensure you’re enlisting adequate risk for farm-direct meat, produce and other ag products spawned by the COVID-19 exposure protection. pandemic rightfully compelled a lot of growers to explore selling direct and managing more of their supply chain as ways to maintain revenue on operations “Just like revenue increases with the amount of risk, so does insurance. If you adversely affected by the virus and the angst it’s created. Selling direct during the plan to sell $10,000 worth of tomatoes, that’s a lot. But from a risk standpoint, it’s pandemic not only enabled some growers to make up for the short-term financial much less than selling $10,000 worth of meat direct from the farm,” Cumings said. shortfall but also open new long-term revenue streams. “There are more food safety rules around meat, for example, so you’re taking on more risk.” Find your risk tolerance New on-farm ventures like marketing meat directly to consumers or creating Work with the right partner Endorsed coverage levels range in cost from an additional $100 added to an an agritourism attraction can create new revenue streams, but they can also open you up to new risk exposure. When diversifying your operation, a good starting existing whole-farm policy to a broader specific policy to over the entire new point is acknowledging your tolerance for the types of risks you may encounter in venture. Policy costs vary based on the size and type of operation, Cumings said. the process. Then, work with your Nationwide® farm-certified agent to determine what type of coverage you need to protect yourself from these risks based on your Adequate insurance coverage for a new farm business venture requires direct general risk preferences. attention to your farm or ranch. Most Nationwide farm-certified agents have years of farm experience in different diversification options and the expertise to advise “People are considering how to meet the farm-direct demand, because it’s on the best insurance options for you. While COVID-19 may have hampered your an opportunity to regain some revenue lost because of COVID-19,” according to farm revenue potential in the short term, long-term financial viability is possible Nationwide Associate Vice President for Agribusiness Underwriting Erin Cumings. with the right diversification tactics and risk exposure protection strategy. “We have farmers of all types and sizes looking at new revenue streams for their operations. On smaller farms, it’s more about opportunities to be involved in the Nationwide Offers Valuable Webinars farm, like agritourism and buying direct, while on larger farms, it’s more about figuring out how to control more of the value chain.” Throughout the year, Nationwide—in partnership with Pennsylvania Farm Bureau—will offer valuable, educational webinars to help you better plan for and Determine the right policy option live in retirement. ­ The right farm or ranch policy can protect property and provide coverage from Upcoming live sessions include: any new liabilities that accompany the diversification of an operation. The first step in finding which policy type and coverage level is right for you is to determine what Social Security Long Term Care will best meet your needs based on your risk tolerance—the level of risk you’re Date: Sept. 15 Date: Oct. 20 willing to endure—as well as the liability your business diversification will create. Time: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Time: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. It’s a combination of introspection about your attitude toward risk, what you are willing and able to pay for liability protection, and analysis of the new risks of the In addition to participating in one of the live sessions, you can watch pre- ag business diversification you’d like to introduce to your operation. recorded versions of webinars on these and other topics. Visit and click “view webinar sessions” to learn more. Farmers Encouraged to Share Survey Assessing 717.232.5000 The service offers experienced legal advice on all aspects of estate, succession and business planning Farmworker Needs (such as wills, trusts, partnerships, LLCs and corporations), estate settlement and many other legal The Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety in Agriculture, matters encountered by farmers. Legal Service Plan is Forestry, and Fishing is researching how to better meet the needs of farmworkers a fee-based service paid for by the member using it. amid COVID-19 and is asking farmers to share a confidential survey with employees. Editor’s note: This column explores legal issues that impact the farm community. It is authored by attorneys working for the law firm of Mette, The information gathered will help create materials and programs to better Evans & Woodside, who service PFB’s Legal Service Plan. serve farmers and their workers. The survey is voluntary, responses are confidential and no contact information will be collected. PFB Legal Service Plan Attorneys are available for consultation as follows: September 16 & 17 – Schuylkill, Luzerne, Carbon The survey is available in English at: September 29 & 30 – Lancaster, Lebanon, Berks October 7 & 8 – Snyder, Northumberland The service offers experienced legal advice on all aspects of estate, succession The survey is available in Spanish at: and business planning (such as wills, trusts, partnerships, LLCs and corporations), estate settlement and many other legal matters encountered by farmers. For an appointment, call 717.232.5000. Legal Service Plan is a fee-based service paid for You can also request paper copies or have your workers complete the by the member using it. survey over the phone by contacting Nicole Blanchard at 607.422.7527 or [email protected] Join @PAFarmBureau @pafarmbureau the Farm Bureau @PennsylvaniaFarmBureau Conversation!

September 2020 23 Country Focus GrassrinoAoctitosn CVof otohuleunmntotynetehr Farm Bureau’s strength comes from its county organizations and grassroots Bob and Vicky Heimbach members, who advocate and tell agriculture’s story in their communities. Here’s a sampling of some of those grassroots activities around the state. Snyder County For more than 30 years, Bob and Vicky Heimbach have been dedicated to helping Snyder County Farm Bureau grow and succeed. The couple have supported numerous county and state activities throughout their involvement with Farm Bureau. But where they have perhaps made their greatest mark has been on working membership to help grow and strengthen the organization. Bob currently serves as membership chair and on the Policy Development Committee for the county and is also a member of the State Dairy Committee. He’s also served in a variety of roles in the past, including member relations director and county president. Vicky is a member of the county’s Women’s Leadership Committee and has served in a number of roles in the past, including information director and county treasurer. Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized as a County Volunteer of the Month? Please recommend to your county board that they be nominated. Dauphin County Farm Bureau helped coordinate a donation of 1,200 gallons of Grassroots in Action highlights the work our grassroots members and county milk to families in Harrisburg and worked with the Harrisburg School District and Central Farm Bureaus do to advocate and engage in their communities. To submit activities for consideration, please send a photo, a short description and contact information Pennsylvania Food Bank to provide meals to students and families in need. to Country Focus editor, Liam Migdail, at [email protected] Chester/Delaware County Farm Bureau helped coordinate donations of 4,224 Bedford County Farm Bureau Clearfield County Farm Bureau gallons of milk, which was distributed through two drive-through events and delivered hosted a legislative farm tour at Olde hosted a legislative farm tour at the Bedford Brewing Farm. Farm owner David Pennsylvania Grain Processing ethanol to neighborhoods where many agricultural workers live. Heller talks about growing hops. plant. Attendees listen to a presentation on how grain is converted to ethanol. Indiana County Farm Bureau hosted a legislative farm tour at Yarnick Farms. Dan Yarnick, the farm’s owner, talks with state Reps. Cris Dush and Jim Struzzi about his operation.

Country Focus - September 2021

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