October 14, 2021
Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline, together with members of the Chester County Agricultural Development Council (Ag Council), offered two agriculture awards this week at a public assembly that additionally revealed a draft of Chester County’s first ag financial improvement technique.
Farmer of the Year AwardThe 2021 Chester County Farmer of the Year award was offered to Darryl King, owner-operator of Manor Hill Farms in West Grove, the place he and his spouse Pam develop row crops on 220 acres. King additionally owns 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 think about environmentally-friendly practices like no-till farming and using cowl crops to retain and construct soil well being.
“I dream of leaving the land in a lot better form than how I acquired it throughout my flip to take care of it,” says King. “My aim for my farm is to bridge the hole between farmer and client. I need folks to grasp how a lot effort I put into the farm and the crops.”
In addition to King’s devotion to pure useful resource administration, he’s being honored for his neighborhood spirit and willingness to assist others in want, particularly new farmers. Whether it is serving to with a damaged piece of equipment, giving planting recommendation and even serving to to rebuild after a pure catastrophe, he’s typically one of many first to volunteer.
“It’s necessary to be there when tragedy strikes,” he says. “The world can be such a chilly and lonely place if we farmers solely considered each other as rivals and threats to our personal operations.”
In presenting the award, Chester County Commissioner’s Chair Marian Moskowitz stated, “When you meet Darryl, you see that his inclination to work with and mentor different younger farmers is not simply part of his enterprise mannequin, it is his philosophy and lifestyle.
“It’s inspiring to listen to of younger entrepreneurs like Darryl who take the time to construct up their communities and share the information with their friends.”
The Duncan Allison Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award
The Duncan Allison Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture was offered to Betsy MacCauley of Atglen for 30-plus years of service to the agriculture trade by means of her work as a 4-H Club livestock chief.
4-H is a casual training program for youth ages 8-18, designed to show youth life expertise, constructed on subject material tasks developed by Penn State Extension and National 4-H Council.
An completed farmer in her personal proper, MacCauley has impacted the lives of a whole lot if not hundreds of aspiring younger farmers by means of her ongoing volunteerism, main Chester County’s Golden Fleece Sheep Club, judging competitions, mentoring youth, and welcoming guests from everywhere in the nation to her household’s award-winning sheep farm.
“Betsy is a superb 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 neighborhood.”
Chester County Ag Economic Development Strategic Plan
Following the award bulletins, consultants from agriculture-specialists ACDS, LLC unveiled a draft of Chester County’s ag financial improvement strategic plan, and mentioned alternatives to create technological development, strategic partnerships and trade resilience.
“Chester County has an incredible historical past of being one of many largest and most efficient agricultural counties, not simply within the Commonwealth, however within the nation, and we need to make certain it stays that means,” stated County Commissioner Josh Maxwell. “Our world class soils, entry to robust client markets and wonderful farm entrepreneurs place us for trade development.
County Commissioner Michelle Kichline famous, “We know farmers throughout all sectors have been dealing with challenges, and extra so due to the pandemic. There are actual wants to attach the general public to the native agriculture trade, and assist farmers with entry to land, enterprise sources and succession planning.
“We need agriculture to thrive in Chester County and have the ability to adapt to no matter comes our means, which is why the success of this financial improvement technique is essential.
Chester County Ag Council Board Chair and mushroom grower Chris Alonzo says, “The mushroom trade is dependent upon the success of many different ag trade sectors like crop farming, equine, specialty HVAC, processing, and trucking. Together Chester County agriculture is stronger than anybody particular person farm or farmer.”
Learn extra on the Chester County Ag Council’s web site.
This press launch was produced by the Chester County Government. The views expressed listed below are the writer’s personal.