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Farmland preservation is art show theme

April 04, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. -- Though taken a few years ago in Lancaster County, the photo by Nancy DuPont of Waynesboro, Pa., seemed to sum up the Franklin County Agricultural Preservation Art Show: An Amish woman standing next to her buggy at a self-serve gas pump.

"I guess it shows the old and the new together," said DuPont, who took first place in the adult category. Upon closer examination, one can see a blue kerosene can in the back of the buggy.

About 90 people submitted 110 pieces for the show, the ceremony for which was held Friday in the community center at Norlo Park.

"I didn't just want to have a picture of a farm. I wanted to some how make it different," said Paige Penrod, a senior at Greencastle-Antrim High School and winner of the show's $250 grand prize.

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The result was a colored pencil and computer graphics composition of a Holstein, the dairy cow's spots replaced with farm scenes - the farm on the cow rather than the cow on the farm.

Katy Mitchell, a senior at James Buchanan High School in Mercersburg, Pa., won first prize for one of her entries, a farm scene painted on wood. She also entered a poster, depicting different views of a piece of land, one as a farm, the other as a housing development.

"Preserve our farmland because there won't be any more made," read one of the messages around the border of the poster.

"I'd love to see this display at our fair," said Mitchell, the 2007 Franklin County Fair Queen.

Sabrina Wagaman took first place in the middle school category and Logan Cline claimed top honors among elementary school students in the show, which was the brainchild of Carolyn Baker, a Greencastle-Antrim High School art teacher.

"It's genetic for her," said County Senior Planner Sherri Clayton, noting that Baker's parents, John and Doris Koons, own the first Franklin County farm to be preserved. There are now 96 preserved farms with 13,000 acres in the program.

"If ever the phrase 'a picture is worth a thousand words' held true, it's today," Doug Wolfgang, executive director of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Farmland Preservation, said of the show.

Franklin County ranks ninth in the state in preserved farmland acreage, Wolfgang said. The state leads the nation with 3,500 farms and 883,000 acres in its preservation program, he said.

Voters have approved two Growing Greener Initiatives fund the program, in which the state, counties and municipalities can purchase the development rights to prime farmland, Wolfgang said. The counties and townships of the state have put up $1 billion for their share of the cost, he said.

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