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NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | July 12, 2010
SMITHSBURG --Pledging a commitment to farmers, Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. brought his gubernatorial campaign to northeast Washington County on Monday. Addressing a small group at Misty Meadow Farms near Smithsburg, Ehrlich said he wanted to combat the idea that farmers are responsible for Chesapeake Bay pollution. "The first promise we made to farmers in this state was: No more demonization. No more marginalization. No more blaming you for things that are not your fault," he said.
NEWS
By JEFF SEMLER | August 17, 2010
As I write this week's installment, there is again the promise or threat of rain in the forecast. I am not going to dwell on the drought this week. While the crops are way less than optimal, the general mood of local agrarians is cautiously optimistic. They are not Pollyannas. They are not looking through rose-colored glasses. They just know what we all know - it will rain again and when it does we will need it. Instead of panic, they are preparing. I truly believe this fall we will have more acres planted to oats than any time since we farmed with horses.
NEWS
By JEFF SEMLER | jsemler@umd.edu | September 13, 2011
Ten years ago Sunday was a day just like Dec. 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy. Sept. 17, 1862, was a day that still echoes through the corridors of time for us in Washington County. The area will mark that day on Saturday. What do any of these dates really have in common? What they have in common is how the people affected responded. This sleepy valley was busy being a part of the bread basket of the nation in 1862. Wheat and barley dominated the cropping of most farmers, and the mills that dotted the streams and creeks of the area ground the grain into flour for export down the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal or over the National Pike.
NEWS
By JEFF SEMLER | July 22, 2013
I recently read an article online titled “The Ten Reasons They Hate You So” at www.truthinfood.com . The article wasn't hostile like the title might suggest. The author was attempting to explain why seemingly well-educated urbanites and suburbanites loathe many modern agricultural practices. Mike Smith, the author, made several valid points that go beyond the current mantra that if we just educate them they will understand. He goes on to point out that “modern agriculture's vulnerability is this: Today's farmer is just as generationally divorced from the modern, urban liberal-arts university as his city cousin is from the farm.
OPINION
By LUCIE L. SNODGRASS | April 21, 2013
Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has led to enormous growth in understanding the consequences we face if we do not take care of our natural resources. It has led to more action to protect our planet's land, water, air, wildlife and human beings, and it has strengthened farmers' and ranchers' already strong commitment to being good environmental stewards. Farmers observe Earth Day every day. Where asphalt and pavement turn to gravel and dirt, you will find men and women rising early, greeting the day and working the earth.  Their office space is outdoors in the sun, wind, rain and sometimes snow.
NEWS
By JEFF SEMLER | Extension educator | May 17, 2011
During the next several months, the headlines will be dominated by the clamoring from inside the beltway as legislators grapple with how to dig us out of a deep economic hole. I doubt any program or spending will be left untouched. I have written in previous columns how federally supported agricultural programs have taken hits in the areas of research for the public good, and Extension education, where the knowledge of the land grant university system is disseminated to the public.
NEWS
by TIFFANY ARNOLD | July 14, 2010
If it were up to a contingent of local farmers, political head-butting in Annapolis would relent over a steaming bowl of Head-Buttin' Goat Chili. Washington County Head-Buttin' Goat Chili is what a group of five county residents plan to serve at Gov. Martin O'Malley's Annapolis mansion Thursday during the annual Buy Local Cook Out. The invitation-only cookout showcases recipes made from locally grown foods and launches a statewide Buy Local Challenge initiative to get Marylanders to eat local food for a week - a habit local farmers said they hope would stick.
NEWS
By BRYN MICKLE | July 22, 1999
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Eastern Panhandle farmers who have been hit hard by the drought are being offered federal assistance in Berkeley and Jefferson counties. Farm owners can go to USDA service centers in Martinsburg and Ranson to sign up for emergency grain and hay supplies and file loss claims for federal aid, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service spokeswoman Peg Reese said Thursday. Gov. Cecil Underwood has asked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman to declare a federal agricultural disaster in the state.
NEWS
July 4, 2006
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania farmers have until July 17 to file acreage reports for crop insurance with their insurance agent and county Farm Service Agency, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said. "Accurate reporting is necessary to ensure that farmers receive their insurance loss claims," Wolff said. "It's also important to keep a signed acreage report for their records. " There may be differences in the report requirements for the crop insurance agent and FSA. If so, a written explanation is required when submitting the reports.
NEWS
By DAVE McMILLION | March 26, 2009
SHARPSBURG -- Agriculture still is a big part of life in Washington County, with 844 farms in the county at last count, officials say. But keeping a farm going can be complicated these days, with slim cash flows and children deciding not to carry on family farms, a financial planner said Thursday night at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center. The center wants to be a neutral source of information for farmers to help them make the right financial decisions, said Leslie Hendrickson-Hart, an agricultural marketing specialist.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | August 28, 2013
Immigration, the farm bill and alternative energy were among the topics members of the agricultural community asked U.S. Rep. John Delaney about on Wednesday night. About 40 people, including Maryland Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance, attended the event held at Rinehart Orchards' packing house, north of Smithsburg. J.D. Rinehart, owner and operator of the orchards, said he has employed 28 legal workers from Mexico this year to help with the harvest, picking peaches and apples.
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NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | August 17, 2013
Going back 64 years, Charles Green runs the longest continuous vending operation at Hagerstown's Historic City Farmers Market, but Mitch Dodson's connection goes back three-quarters of a century. On Saturday, after Mayor David S. Gysberts cut a cake celebrating the market's 230th year of continuous operation, Dodson recalled working at a nearby grocery store in the 1930s. His employer would ask him to check out what produce was going for at the market, he said. Dodson, 91, said he got to know Isaac Baer of Paramount Meat Packers, who offered him a job at his market stall.
NEWS
August 12, 2013
You have heard the question: How are we going to feed 9 billion people? That is the expected world population total by 2050. Today, the Earth is home to a little more than 7 billion people, which by the way, we do not consistently feed. Not because we do not produce enough food, but because of infrastructure issues and political corruption. Actually, agriculture produces enough calories to feed 9 billion people. However, as Michael Pollan reminds us, eating and food is more than simply consuming calories.
NEWS
July 28, 2013
Weis Markets recently announced the rollout of its annual Your Neighbors, Our Farmers local produce program. The campaign promotes the quality and longevity of Weis Markets' local produce program and highlights the contributions of 13 farmers and their families who supply Weis Markets' stores with produce. “We were local before local was cool,” said Kurt Schertle, executive vice president of sales and merchandising for Weis Markets. “Although this is the peak season for buying local produce, we are year-round customers of locally sourced agricultural products, including milk, eggs, pork, beef and poultry.
NEWS
By JEFF SEMLER | July 22, 2013
I recently read an article online titled “The Ten Reasons They Hate You So” at www.truthinfood.com . The article wasn't hostile like the title might suggest. The author was attempting to explain why seemingly well-educated urbanites and suburbanites loathe many modern agricultural practices. Mike Smith, the author, made several valid points that go beyond the current mantra that if we just educate them they will understand. He goes on to point out that “modern agriculture's vulnerability is this: Today's farmer is just as generationally divorced from the modern, urban liberal-arts university as his city cousin is from the farm.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | June 19, 2013
Cops turned into cowboys Wednesday afternoon as Maryland state troopers and Washington County sheriff's deputies tried to corral an elusive herd of bovine escapees along Interstate 81 north of Hagerstown. Five beef cattle escaped through a break in a fence and wandered north and then south along the shoulder of the interstate, frequently disappearing into the dense brush and woods bordering the highway. The incident started at 2:07 p.m. with a 911 call from a motorist who told a dispatcher that a man was running up and down the highway warning drivers to slow down because of the renegade cattle, said Cpl. James Grinnan of the Maryland State Police.
NEWS
June 10, 2013
Colleen Cashell, executive director of Washington County's Farm Service Agency, reminds farmers and landowners that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is conducting its Conservation Reserve Program sign-up, which ends Friday. Cashell also announced the restart of sign-up for continuous CRP, including the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, the Highly Erodible Land Initiative, the Grassland Restoration Initiative, the Pollinator Habitat Initiative and other related initiatives.
LIFESTYLE
June 6, 2013
 North Square Farmers Market will open its stands from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 8, at 50 N. Main St., Chambersburg, to host a Health and Fitness Day.   Health and Fitness Day festivities will include an early bird drawing from 8 to 9 a.m. to win a 10-class pass for Chambersburg CrossFit; free BMI testing with Results Therapy & Fitness; a kids' broad jump contest with The Runner's Sole; a cooking demo by Kristi Benbow of B Naturally Nourished;...
NEWS
By JEFF SEMLER | jsemler@umd.edu | May 27, 2013
The past two weeks, I have been at training sessions out of state. The first was a SARE Fellows tour in Kentucky. SARE stands for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. Sustainable agriculture is a popular term nowadays, but let's be serious - agriculture has always had to be sustainable. Now, before you purists get excited, I will share today's definition of sustainable agriculture. In 1996, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Daniel Glickman issued a memorandum on USDA sustainable agriculture policy.
NEWS
By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com | May 13, 2013
Donna Litton, co-owner of Litton's Produce and Berries in Fairplay, said she was thinking about ways to improve the presentation of her products and better educate her customers while attending the one of the two farmers market workshops hosted Monday by the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission (EDC). “I wanted to educate myself to see if there's anything more that I could be doing to help sell my product,” she said. Local farmers had the chance to receive information on marketing, etiquette and farmers markets in Washington County at the workshops, held in the Washington County Agricultural Education Center front conference room.
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