Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline, Collectively with members of the Chester County Agricultural Enchancment Council (Ag Council), launched two agriculture awards this week at a public meeting that additionally revealed a draft of Chester County’s first ag financial development method.
Farmer of the Yr Award
The 2021 Chester County Farmer of the Yr award was launched to Darryl King, proprietor-operator of Manor Hill Farms in West Grove, the place he and his spouse Pam develop row crops on 220 acres. King additionally personals Manor Hill Hay and Grain in Cochranville, a self-serve retailer promoting pine shavings, hay, and straw.
King was nominated for the award by the Chester County Ag Land Preservation Board for his work championing farmland preservation And inspiring his friends To imagine about environmentally-nice practices like no-till farming and Using cowl crops to retain and construct soil well being.
“I dream of leaving the land in Tons greater type than how I acquired it all by way of my flip to Look after it,” says King. “My objective for my farm is to bridge the hole between farmer and shopper. I would like people To Understand how a lot effort I put into the farm and the crops.”
Alongside with King’s devotion to pure useful resource administration, He is being honored for his group spirit and willingness To assist completely differents in want, particularly new farmers. Whether or not it’s serving to with a damaged piece of equipment, giving planting suggestion And even serving to to reconstruct after a pure disaster, He is typically Definitely one of many first to volunteer.
“It’s important to be there when tragedy strikes,” he says. “The world Can be such A chilly and lonely place if we farmers solely seen Every completely different as rivals and threats to our personal operations.”
In presenting the award, Chester County Commissioner’s Chair Marian Moskowitz said, “Everytime you meet Darryl, you see that his inclination to work with and mentor completely different youthful farmers isn’t Only An factor of his enterprise mannequin, it’s his philosophy and Way of life.
“It’s inspiring To Take heed to of youthful entrepreneurs like Darryl who take the time To assemble up their communities and share the intypeation with their friends.”
The Duncan Allison Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award
The Duncan Allison Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture was launched to Betsy MacCauley of Atglen for 30-plus years of service to the agriculture enterprise by way of her work as a 4-H Membership livestock chief.
4-H is An off-the-cuff education program for youth ages 8-18, designed To level out youth life expertise, assembleed on Supplies tasks developed by Penn State Extension and Nationwide 4-H Council.
An accomplished farmer in her personal proper, MacCauley has impacted the lives of lots of if not hundreds of aspiring youthful farmers by way of her ongoing volunteerism, main Chester County’s Golden Fleece Sheep Membership, judging competitions, mentoring youth, and welcoming visitors from Throughout the place Inside the nation to her household’s award-worthwhile sheep farm.
“Betsy is A fantastic volunteer and worthy of recognition,” says Toni Stuetz, Penn State Extension Educator. “SHe is an asset to our 4-H program and the Chester County ag group.”
Chester County Ag Economic Enchancment Strategic Plan
Following the award bulletins, consultants from agriculture-specialists ACDS, LLC unveiled a draft of Chester County’s ag financial development strategic plan, and talked about alternatives to create technological development, strategic partnerships and enterprise resilience.
“Chester County has An unimaginable historic previous of being Definitely one of many largest and Biggest agricultural counties, not simply Inside the Commonwealth, however Inside the nation, and We now Need to Guarantee it stays that method,” said County Commissioner Josh Maxwell. “Our world class soils, entry to strong shopper markets and fantastic farm entrepreneurs place us for enterprise progress.
County Commissioner Michelle Kichline famous, “All of us know farmers throughout all sectors have been dealing with challenges, and extra so As a Outcome of of pandemic. There are exact Should join The general public to the native agriculture enterprise, and assist farmers with entry to land, enterprise useful assets and succession planning.
“We would like agriculture to thrive in Chester County and Be In a place to adapt to no matter comes our method, which is why the success of this financial development method is essential.
Chester County Ag Council Board Chair and mushroom developer Chris Alonzo says, “The mushroom enterprise Relies upon upon the success of many completely different ag enterprise sectors like crop farming, equine, specialty HVAC, processing, and trucking. Collectively Chester County agriculture is stronger than Anyone particular person farm or farmer.”
Study extra On the Chester County Ag Council’s internet website.