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Sustainable Food and Farming Systems


Newsletter of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

Serving the Community of Sustainable Farmers, Consumers and Businesses Throughout Pennsylvania and Beyond Number 67 July/August 2007

Small Ruminant Field Day Visits Two Neighboring Farms


By Meghan Coil, PASA Member Field Day Reporter ainted Hand Farm in Newburg, PA (Cumberland Co.) is home to Sandra Kay Miller and Ralph Jones, their daughter Jessica, a few head of cattle, pastured turkeys, a pair of Great Pyrenees guard dogs, one Tibetan yak (her days are numbered), and seventy-two Boer meat goats — the main focus of PASA’s recent field day. Sandra displayed a carefully designed network of fences that streamlines her rotational grazing practices for the Boer herd. First of all, her permanent high-tensile fences are thoughtfully inset 10 feet or so from the perimeter, which allows a vehicle to pass on either side of the fence. She can also place temporary fencing along the road or other boundary and allow goats to browse along the fence’s outer side. By rotating her goats frequently through small paddocks (as opposed to less frequent rotation over larger areas) Sandra improves the rate of weight gain in the herd, decreases spread of parasitic worms, and allows just-pastured areas to rest and regenerate for 45–60 days before being grazed again. Moving the herd frequently is easy since Sandra trained her goats to follow the sound of a bell! continued page 3

SPECIAL SUMMER EDITION Resources for Small Farmers see page 12

July/August 2007
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
114 West Main Street P.O. Box 419 Millheim PA 16854 Phone: (814) 349-9856 • Fax: (814) 349-9840 Website: Passages STAFF & OFFICE Staff Editor: Michele Gauger Layout: C Factor Advertising Sales: Michele Gauger, PASA office, BOARD OF DIRECTORS President: Kim Seeley, Bradford County Vice President: Brian Moyer, Berks County Secretary: Mary Barbercheck, Centre County Treasurer: Louise Schorn Smith, Chester County David Bingaman, Dauphin County Jennifer Halpin, Cumberland County Mena Hautau, Berks County John Hopkins, Columbia County John Jamison, Westmoreland County Don Kretschmann, Beaver County Jeff Mattocks, Dauphin County Patti Olenick, Dauphin County Rita Resick, Somerset County Anthony Rodale, Berks County Jim Travis, Adams County At-Large Board Member Jamie Moore, Allegheny County PASA STAFF Headquarters Brian Snyder Executive Director Lauren Smith Director of Development Heather House Director of Educational Outreach Allison Shauger Educational Outreach Assistant Michele Gauger Director of Membership & Research Assistant Brandi Marks Office Coordinator/Bookkeeper Western Regional Office Phone: 412-697-0411 David Eson Director of Western Programs Chris Fullerton Director of Consumer Division Julie Speicher Marketing Manager Sarah Young Program Assistant

1 4 5 6 7 8 9

Small Ruminant Field Day Visits Two Neighboring Farms Director’s Corner President’s Corner Regional Marketing Conference/Fundraising Update Membership Update Membership Form

10 Business Member Profile: McGeary Organics 11 Advice for Protecting Bees 13 Special Advertising Section 27 Editor’s Corner: The Grapevine 28 Classified Ads 30 Calendar
Page 11, Advice for Protecting Bees Cover story, Small Ruminants

Passages July/August 2007 Contributors
Contributing writers & photographers: Meghan Coil, Maryann Frazier, Chris Fullerton, Donald Gibbon, Mena Hautau, Laurel Hoffman, Heather House, Eric Klinedinst, Gayle Morrow, Kim Seeley, Allison Shauger, Lauren Smith, Brian Snyder.

PASA’s Mission is…
Promoting profitable farms which produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment. PASA is an organization as diverse as the Pennsylvania landscape. We are seasoned farmers who know that sustainability is not only a concept, but a way of life. We are new farmers looking for the fulfillment of land stewardship. We are students and other consumers, anxious to understand our food systems and the choices that must be made. We are families and children, who hold the future of farming in our hands.This is an organization that is growing in its voice on behalf of farmers in Pennsylvania and beyond. Our mission is achieved, one voice, one farm, one strengthened community at a time.

PASA in the News
Have you seen articles about PASA in your local newspapers or other media? PASA is active across the state, and we’d love to know what coverage we are getting in your area. Please clip any articles you see on PASA and mail them to our Millheim headquarters to the attention of Office Coordinator Brandi Marks.

Do you have a great article idea for Passages?
Want to share a farming practice with members? We’d love to hear from you. Please contact the newsletter staff at Deadline for September/October 2007 Issue: August 28, 2007

PASA is an Equal Opportunity Service Provider and Employer. Some grant funding comes from the USDA and complaints of discrimination should be sent to: USDA Office of Civil Rights, Washington, DC 20250-9410.
Passages is printed on recycled, chlorine-free paper


advantage of electronet (rigid vertical strands) over tension net (no rigid continued from page 1 strands, very tangle-prone). She and Barry set up their temporary fences at the In addition to grass pastures, Painted beginning of the grazing season so that Hand Farm includes wooded and brushy the sheep can spend about 3 days in each areas, which provide the herd with paddock of the 5-acre pasture. Linda browsing forage, while the herd provides confessed to having made the mistake of the farm with weed control. Sandra menovergrazing early on and learned how diftioned that a nutrient test revealed 28% ficult it was to re-grow the pasture. The protein content in poison ivy and 30% Singleys distributed a “Ruminant Startup protein content for chickweed! Another Basic Checklist,” which they compiled benefit of wooded pastures is that everthemselves for the benefit of those startgreens provide a shady retreat in the suming a ruminant operation. In spite of its mer and decrease snow cover in winter. name, the checklist is exhaustive and Given the statistic that 10% of a belies many a lesson perhaps learned the herd carries 90% of the worm load, hard way, but given out freely! Item #1: identifying and treating infected goats “Check land regulations, past uses and is very important. To identify infected history.” Item #4: “Call anyone you think animals, Sandra endorsed the use of can offer guidance, good advice, coffee, both the FAMACHA and clear vision.” Item #35: method (anemia chart), “Check spare time and which gauges blood flow sense of humor to ensure to eyelids to measure worm they are both available.” load, and a sugar water Representatives from flotation which draws the Cumberland County Conworms from manure, servation District and the allowing the farmer to view USDA Natural Resources them in a drop of solution Conservation Service were placed under a microscope. on hand to discuss the ProBecause worms in the Midject Grass program (www. west are now resistant to 3, which of the 5 classes of chemical offers many resources to worm treatments, judicious assist farmers interested in and focused application of developing or enhancing these treatments is all the their rotational grazing sysmore key. tems. For example, Bearlin A quick message on buyAcres received financial ing stock: beware of cheap Jessica Jones of Painted Hand Farm and her Boer goat, Cinderella, demonstrate how assistance with their fencthoroughbreds. According their home-made milking stanchion is used for regular goat maintenance such as ing. Suzette Brought Traux, to Sandra, many thorough- trimming feet, vaccinations, worming, body scoring and more. the Southcentral Project bred animals that are marketed as breed- mowing environmentally sensitive areas Grass representative, demonstrated how ing stock have serious defects and are that don’t tolerate heavy machinery. to measure grass height (of several better suited for roasting than for breedIn the afternoon we visited Bearlin types of grasses) after grazing to ensure ing. If raising meat goats, it is not neces- Acres just down the road in Shippens- that adequate nutrient reserves remained sary for your whole herd to be burg. Operated by Linda and Barry Sin- for the plant to replenish itself. She thoroughbred — in fact, Sandra has gley (along with daughter Courtney), measured the pasture with a tool develnoticed that Boer/Nubian crosses seem to Bearlin Acres has grown from the original oped by Project Grass and its affiliates, be better mothers and have larger, faster- 3 sheep and 2 goats intended for a Cash- which field day participants were then growing kids, healthier feet, and some mere operation to the current 22 sheep, able to take home. parasite resistance. But a high-quality alpaca, and several goats, which provide Farmers at both Bearlin Acres and breeding buck is a worthwhile invest- fiber and meat for sale along with natural Painted Hand Farm stressed the imporment. (Sandra’s May/June 2007 Passages soaps produced on the farm. tance of sharing information and being in As in the morning, pasture manage- touch with neighbors and fellow farmers. article “Adding Value with Meat Goats” offers detailed and specific guidelines for ment and rotational grazing were the top- Field day participants benefited from seechoosing healthy breeding stock.) ics of interest. Linda quite good- ing two different ways to manage and The ethnic market provides most of humoredly discussed the aggravation of market small ruminants and left with the business for Sandra’s meat goats, tangled fence netting and showed the new grazing ideas to chew on. I

Small Ruminants

which is also described in more detail in her article mentioned above. Demand is highest at the end of the Muslim holiday Eid, which calls for feasting on an “unblemished ram,” so be sure the animal has his horns and has not been castrated. Because of customer demand for the whole animal, including many parts that American butchers traditionally discard, Sandra finds it better to bypass the butcher shop, sell the whole animal to the customer and let them butcher it on their own terms. Another way the herd profits the farm is through “prescribed grazing.” This practice began in the wildfire-prone West, where goats are hired to mow brushy areas and decrease fire hazard. Here in the Northeast, prescribed grazing is useful for poison ivy control and for


Director’s Corner

What I Would Have Said at “Ag In The Classroom”
By Brian Snyder, Executive Director

few months ago, not long after our conference in February, I was asked to make a presentation at the annual Ag In The Classroom (AITC) program that is held each summer in State College. I was not so much flattered as surprised by this request, especially since it came from the program’s sponsor, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. For anyone who may not already know, PASA has had a rocky relationship with Farm Bureau over the years, and never so much as in the immediate aftermath of our conference this year. Nevertheless, I took this request as a peace offering and began to think about some of the things I would say in my speech. I had been asked to talk about the importance of critical thinking in agriculture today. Everything was going along fine until just a little less than two weeks before my scheduled appearance at AITC, when I abruptly received a message saying that my services were no longer required. The process that resulted in this series of events was never explained to my satisfaction, but it did raise some interesting questions about, well, the importance of critical thinking in agriculture today. So my objective has become to preserve and report here some of the thinking I did with the errant assumption that


it would be delivered to a group of interested school teachers. Only now my thoughts are tempered with a bit of annoyance and a growing concern that things may even be worse than I thought. Simply put, I’m very concerned that critical thinking of any kind is on its way out of style in our nation’s schools. Time was, “back in the day” as they say, when my friends and I learned how to think critically at school, then came home and amazed (or horrified) our parents with our new insights. Nowadays it seems to happen more often the other way around...innovation happens, if anywhere, at home, to the amazement and sometimes dismay of many teachers. Food and agriculture provide some of the best examples of how this shift has occurred. For instance, my own kids could immediately see through the efforts at their schools to improve “nutrition” by replacing whole milk with a syrupy substitute sporting artificial flavors and coloring to boot. And they can see on their way to school how agriculture has changed as well, with the first rite of spring in many fields being, not the greening, but the browning of the land with that fresh coating of glyphosate or some other chemical. The kids ask about this kind of stuff, and a concerned parent can only wonder what answers await them at school. Is anyone there really thinking critically about any of this? Is anyone teaching them to think their way to a better world, or merely to accept the status quo as the best we can hope for? I know there are many exceptions, but am afraid the predominant answer to my questions is a resounding “No!” because we can see the same trend prevailing in our national political discussions, the media, civic organizations and even in our churches. In my experience, it’s as though too much thought of any kind is enough to raise the suspicions of those around you — “Back awaaay from the thinker!” you can imagine them saying. But I’m not giving up just yet on our efforts at PASA to bring a little critical thinking into agriculture, or into our society in general, and I’m certainly not ready to give up on the innate ability of children to see through the antics of their elders. So, for those teachers, students or whomever that would choose to think

critically about things, here’s a laundry list of topics for you to muse over: • With some studies showing that organic farming can, over the long haul, provide better yields and higher profits as compared to conventional methods, why do we not see massive amounts of federal and state funding going to provide even more research along these lines and support for farmers transitioning to organic? • Why is a farmer considered more innovative if he/she uses bigger equipment and more synthetic inputs to get the job done? • With all the clear advantages available to the environment, the cows, consumers and farmers themselves for using rotational grazing systems, why do we not see more high-level encouragement for grass-based dairy farming in Pennsylvania? • Why are we falling all over ourselves in this country to replace one drug we are addicted to (crude oil) with another (ethanol) rather than addressing the underlying disease? • Why does our society seem to care more about the levels of fats vs. carbohydrates in our diets, rather than the actual nutrient density (nutritional units per calorie) of food produced in different ways? • If American farmers are truly the reason why people in more populous nations are not starving, then why do we import so much food from China and other rather populous countries? • Why are Pennsylvania consumers generally ignored as the most natural and readily available solution to keeping Pennsylvania farmers profitable and on the land? • Why is critical thinking in general often considered a threat to the agricultural community rather than its surest pathway to future health and prosperity? These are just some things I drive around thinking about all the time, and I’m proud to say my kids think about them as well. The question is, will kids ever get to consider these and other important issues if they do not happen to grow up in a household that encourages critical thinking? I

PASA Board Perspective

Risks of Modern Agriculture
By Kim Seeley, Board President

hy do I farm the way I do? After hearing stories lately of farm accidents and the poisoning of a family whose health has been severely threatened by pesticide use, I am compelled to tell my family’s story again. Years ago my oldest son, Shon, was following me on a day we were planting corn. He had a friend with him and the two of them were playing farmer! I was busy checking the corn planter and making adjustments. Next, I would fill the seed and fertilizer boxes. Lastly I intended to add the insecticide powder to the recently purchased Gandy applicators, which I had assured my father, would take us to the next level of corn production. Those pesky cutworms hadn’t heard the last of me! As the last box was filled with the pretty pink powder, (so sweet smelling, it begged to be touched) I would head to the field. The boys were playing as I headed into the barn to put away the various bags. I was only gone a moment, but when I returned I saw Shon and his friend opening the insecticide hopper, ready to dip there hands into the pink poison. I was horrified with thoughts of “what if I had been gone a minute longer?” This tragedy was prevented but what about next time? I was a fully licensed pesticide applicator, so the logi-


cal, “educated” side of me said; this stuff needs to be locked up all the time. As I planted the field, my mind churned out details of more elaborate safety measures. A locked room on the farm for all chemicals…no children allowed in the dangerous areas…disposable clothing for me. I got home and shared the story with Ann and decided to count my blessings that my son was safe in his bed not a hospital bed. The next day brought more thoughts about the previous days’ stress. What if someone forgets to lock the room? If this stuff is so dangerous that I need special clothing, what makes it safe to add water and spray it from hedgerow to hedgerow amongst our many plentiful drinking water springs? Oh, to have a copy of Sandra Steingraber’s Living Downstream to read as a young farmer. My innocence and ego probably weren’t ready! As a young farmer I was intent on using the latest technology. I hosted seed plot demos on our farm. I studied all the latest from the crop management experts. The cutworms were my nemesis every year or so I thought! I wanted to help other farmers solve this problem, so I contacted the company who made the latest in chemicals and insecticides and offered to do chemical testing on our seed plots. I was in the middle of this arrangement when the scare had happened. The planting window is narrow and I would have to solve all of these dangerous conditions before next year…my son wouldn’t be able to be with me until these issues were solved. The season progressed, we studied the field and the various strips. Harvest season came and I was excited to learn how successful my Gandy applicators had been with increasing my corn yield. We hand picked the ears — what? The treated rows didn’t out yield the controls. I had wasted my money, my time and almost poisoned my son. Several years would pass, when a friend who helped us on the farm, sensed that I wasn’t satisfied with the way our farm was progressing. Our stress levels were high, our cow health wasn’t improving, and we weren’t making any money. He encouraged me to go to a meeting with him about cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. That meeting would forever change my life as a farmer. There was a panel discussion by 4 farmers who had

followed the same rules of farming as described in the text books I studied in college. Three of the farmers were farming identically in crop and animal management. The young Amish farmer on the panel had been following the same path, until he too had a scare with his children. He quietly told his story to the crowd. How he changed his farming practices that very day, he started to actually make more money or more exactly, he spent less money on inputs and kept more of his milk check. That day was also the day we picked up a flyer advertising a new ag organization in the state called PASA. We drove home engaged in conversations that would forever change the way I looked at our farm. I learned that your children should be able to follow the farmer. I learned that natural, organic farming improves your quality of life on the farm. I learned why I needed to join this radical new group called PASA. I wanted to share this story, because I recently heard a young family that moved to central Pennsylvania became ill by pesticide drift from the fields near their property. They have fallen victim to the dark side of modern food production. The farmer is a victim as well, being a pawn in an increasingly dangerous chemical chess game. We live with increased security every day to protect ourselves from foreign terrorists, while we smugly condone legal poisoning of our soils, our watersheds and ultimately our children. The family has tried all legal channels and asked for help from Farm Aid and PASA to tell the story, so other innocent families may be warned about the dangers. Farmers, my story is true. I am here to tell you, we are the canaries in the mine shaft. Farm men and women are leading indicators for many cancers. If your farm is struggling, financially and spiritually, you may want to change your farming practices. Do it for your families’ sake. Start today. PASA is here to help, attend a field day or conference. Country and city neighbors, do you want healthier food? Help farmers. I ask for your help to support PASA by becoming a member. We all need each other to fight the good fight. The chess game isn’t over. If we don’t save our farmers, we can’t have society as we want it to be. I

Regional Marketing


Bloomin’ in the Borough
By Dr. Eric Klinedinst Big things are happening in our small town. Carlisle is currently undergoing a reinvigoration. Many of our historic buildings in the business district are getting a facelift, new businesses are moving in, current businesses are growing, colleges are expanding and residents are choosing to relocate into the downtown district. The borough is reestablishing a sense of community and farmers are helping to lead the charge. In September of this year, the newly formed nonprofit, Carlisle Central Farmers’ Market (CCFM) will open its doors for business in downtown Carlisle. Within walking distance for over 9,000 residents and employees, the market will not only be a year-round location for fresh, local food commerce, but will create a vibrant food experience while educating the community about the importance of sustainable agricultural practices. Traditionally grower/producer markets have been seasonal. However, many meat, cheese, and dairy producers, as well as farmers who chose to create valueadded products will benefit by selling at a year-round market. A portion of our market will consist of 8–10 stand for vendors or co-ops that would like to be selling products five days a week. Two-thirds

of the market will be open on more traditional Friday and Saturday schedule, with the potential of outdoor spaces to be added as needed. CCFM is also working to help growers add season extension practices on their farms. Again, this not only helps to provide fresh, local produce to our community but also has the potential to increase profitability. Furthermore, we are building relationships with local restaurants to establish a “market to chef ” program and are working with Penn State to investigate the potential of adding a kitchen incubator (community commercial kitchen) in or nearby the market. This local farmers’ market project could not be possible without the commitment of the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of the County of Cumberland and the private investments of Tuckey Restorations, Inc., and 3-T Investors. An undertaking like this requires a passionate board of directors, advisors, and visionary farmers. Carlisle Central Farmers’ Market will be a vibrant and vital market community, dedicated to sustainable market practices, strong local economy, consumer education and better health for our extended region. If you would like to participate as a vendor, staff member, or volunteer, please contact Eric Klinedinst ( 717-4483483) or Pat Mrkobrad (pmrkobrad@ 717-249-0789).


Office Opening
PASA is pleased to announce we are opening a regional office in Southeast Pennsylvania in partnership with the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC). Slated to open this fall, this satellite office will strengthen the economic and social prosperity of the food and agriculture system in Southeastern Pennsylvania by providing regional support for PASA’s ongoing initiatives including the Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign, educational opportunities for farmers, and advocating for sustainable agriculture. For more information or the job posting for the regional director, please visit Pictured below at the recent press conference (left to right) are Brian Snyder of PASA, Conrad Olie of CCEDC, Cheryl Cook of PA Dept. of Agriculture, Suzanne Milshaw of CCEDC, Patrick O’Donnell, a Chester County Commissioner, and Gary Smith of CCEDC.

Discussion groups are open to PASA members only to join and discuss issues related to sustainable agriculture. To join the group in your region, send an email to the appropriate address provided. Western David Eson 412-697-0411 • Southeastern Brian Moyer 610-944-9349 • Mena Hautau 610-378-1327 • Southcentral Julie Hurst 717-734-2082 • NorthCentral/Eastern Leah Tewksbury 570-437-2620 •


Western Southeastern Southcentral

Out of State discussion group addresses: States North and East of Pennsylvania States South and West of Pennsylvania



PASA’s 17th Annual Farming for the Future Conference
February 7–9, 2008 • State College, PA
Planning Committee Moving Forward The 2008 Conference Planning Committee consists of over 20 PASA volunteers who lend their time to determine the conference theme, keynoters, contact speakers for workshops, and solicit sponsors for support. Board members Mary Barbercheck and Brian Moyer are cochairing the committee again this year. By the time you read this the committee will have chosen the conference theme and most of the workshop planning will be completed. Stay tuned for details on our website, and in our next edition of Passages.
I Business Opportunities — Infor-

support PASA at the same time. Contact Michele Gauger at PASA headquarters.
I Arias M. Brownback Scholarship Fund — Formed in 2001, this scholarship

Nitya Akeroyd Robert Amsterdam Mary Barbercheck Susan Beal, DVM Michele Briggs Sam Cantrell Melanie Dietrich Cochran Jim Crawford Lisa Diefenbach Brian Futhey Donald Gibbon Jenn Halpin Laurel Hoffman Julie Hurst Kelle Kersten Tom Maurer Kim Miller Sandra Miller Brian Moyer Eric Noel Patti Olenic Louise Schorn Smith Allison Shauger Lauren Smith Crystal Smithmyer Brian Snyder George Vahoviak

fund is designed to help youth and other developing farmers attend the PASA conference each year. As the scholarship fund grows, so does the list of people who’ve gained from its support., in fact PASA was able to award over 25 scholarships to support farmers attending the conference last year! If you would like to donate to this fund, send a check indicating that desire to PASA headquarters. Scholarship applications will be accepted this fall; more information will be posted on
I Photography Exhibit — The FarmArts project will continue at the 2008 Conference, as we look at farms, farm products, and farmers through the medium of photography. The images will be projected during the conference, rather than hung individually, to accommodate more images to enjoy. Not knowing ahead of time what the population is of photographers who would like to participate, Donald L. Gibbon, who is chairing this activity, would like to hear from peo-

mation packets on sponsoring, exhibiting, advertising and other opportunities connected with the conference will be mailed in September. If you are not on the business contact list, contact Lauren Smith at PASA headquarters.
I Charity Auction — We are seeking unique and useful items to auction at the 2008 conference. The Silent, Bag and Live Auctions need a variety of items in all price ranges. This is a terrific way to promote your farm and business — and

ple who think they would enter images to be shown. At this early point, jurying and prizes have not yet been arranged, however photographers will receive personal credit for their work. If there are PASA members or friends who would be willing to help in artistic examination of the joys, challenges, beauties, even the “downers” of being a farmer in Pennsylvania, please contact Don at or call 412-362-8451.

Across the commonwealth, there can be lots of variability with the local hay crop, depending on the scattered weather fronts throughout the state. Some hay fields have abundance, but some farmers are looking at making emergency feed or buying in. However in the mythical PASA haymow, we are past the “summer slump” and have filled the barn about half way now, thanks to fundraising efforts that have involved our members, our board and staff, and some very generous companies. In the coming months, we will have direct contacts with many in the membership. We look forward to sharing stories of both PASA and your farms and families. Also coming this fall (see inside back cover) we will have time to enjoy the fruits of our farming efforts at one of the regional fundraising diners.We hope many of you will consider inviting a friend to a Harvest Celebration Dinner. If you want to introduce someone to PASA, dinners are a cool way to do so!!
$185,000 — — — — $150,000 — — — — — $100,000 — $84,691 —
May 15

Our goal

$92,000 — July 15


— — — — — — 0—
Illustration courtesy of Phyllis Kipp

March 15

$50,000 —


Membership Update

PASA — is YOU — our Members
It’s that time of year when farmers’ markets are bustling, fairs and festivals are in full swing, meetings and dinners are underway. The PASA office is receiving many requests from our members to attend regional events and/or have a PASA booth in various locations across the state. These are great opportunities for our organization! PASA staff attends many events, but we can’t attend them all. This is where we rely on YOU, the membership. Who better to represent PASA to new audiences — than those who have come together to make PASA what it is today — a growing voice in the agricultural community? Call Michele Gauger, PASA Membership Director, and explain your opportunity. She will be glad to supply you with a collection of PASA literature, newsletters and displays as appropriate, for your event. Beyond tabling opportunities, PASA regional members are coordinating potlucks and other membership gatherings. As you and your regional members decide on a time, location and format of the meeting, Michele can help promote the event to the regional members via email and postcards. These regional meetings are valuable in bringing PASA ideas for field day programs and conference workshops, in addition to creative ideas on how to increase PASA membership. YOU — our PASA members are our greatest asset in representing our organization.

PASA Staff & Board Thanks the Following Volunteers Amy Bruning April Frantz Mary Kandray Gelenser Gail & Brian Klock Amy Leber Sue & Tom Maurer Maryann & Dennis Mawhinney Christine Caldara Piatos Sandra & Ben Simmons Angel & John VonNeida Mary Whittam PASA Staff & Board Welcomes Our Newest Business Members Greensgrow Farms Carlisle Central Farmers’ Market The Garden Shoppe Conshohocken Farmers’ Market PASA Staff & Board Welcomes Our Newest Permanent Business Member Kimberton Whole Foods


PASA is sponsoring a farmers market at this event. Contact Michele at PASA Headquarters for details.


PASA Membership & Contribution Form Benefits of Membership
As a member you will receive:
• • • • •

Please clip this application and return with payment to: PASA Membership, PO Box 419, Millheim, PA 16854 or join online at

Lifetime Memberships & Permanent Business Partners
Contributions for Lifetime Memberships & Permanent Business Partnerships will be managed with care, sustaining both the ongoing membership as well as the long-term future of PASA. There are few things a member or business could do to symbolize their lifelong commitment to sustainability than to place such confidence in the value and viability of PASA itself. Sustaining Lifetime Member
Please complete the Family/Farm Membership field at lower left $ 900

A subscription to our bimonthly, Passages newsletter A membership directory for networking Discounted admission to our annual conference Discounted admission to our annual field day series Invitations to other special events, such as our Harvest Dinners • Free classified ad and discounted display advertising in Passages • Voting privileges • The satisfaction of knowing that you are helping sustain agriculture Become a PASA Member
Name Company/Farm Address City ZIP+4 Home Phone E-mail Web Address State County

Permanent Business Partner
Please complete the Nonprofit/Business Membership field at lower left

$ 3,000


Gift Membership
In addition to your own membership, you may give PASA membership to a good friend, family member, business associate or other worthy recipient on an annual or lifetime basis…a gift that keeps on giving! Student Individual Family/Farm Lifetime Sustaining Member SUBTOTAL $
Work Phone Name(s) Address City State ZIP+4 E-mail

$ 15 $ 45 $ 60 $ 900

Are you farming:


YES — how many acres:


How did you learn about PASA:

PASA Membership Levels
Student Individual Family/Farm Please complete field below
Please list all names for this Family/Farm membership. You may include children between the ages of 14–22, and also multiple generations directly involved in the farm.

$ 15 $ 45 $ 60


PASA is a registered 501 (C) 3 organization and contributions are tax exempt.

Annual Fund Arias M. Brownback Scholarship Fund

$ ............................. $ .............................
Total amount due $

Nonprofit Business

Please complete field below Please complete field below

$ 100 $ 150 Card No.

Check Make check payable to PASA Credit Card Complete below

Please list up to two additional people associated with your business to receive individual membership privileges.




Exp. Date

Cardholder Name Signature


Business Member Profile

McGeary Organics — flour to the people!
By Gayle Morrow Flour is flour, right? Wrong! If you’ve never had the pleasure of using high-quality flour, you’re missing the exceptional feel of it as you knead the dough, the perhapsunexpected tenderness of a pie crust (pie crust can be temperamental, you know), the smoothness of gravy or roux. And the snickerdoodles — well, more about that in a minute. At McGeary Organics, they know their flour. It has been milled in the oldest continuously operating flourmill in the country, since the 1750’s. The resulting flour is special, not only because it is organic but because, as Robert McBride theorizes, the mill runs slower and cooler than conventional processing methods and the flour — either wheat or spelt — is a “finer texture overall.” The original mill probably used a water wheel; the modern incarnation is electric. “People come here and hug the boss,” says McBride. “They say they haven’t been able to make snickerdoodles like their grandma until they used our flour.” McBride, whose role at McGeary is working primarily with fertilizer, says he likes his job because “we’re doing something different all the time.” McGeary Organics, with headquarters in Lancaster County, is indeed doing something different all the time. The company, owned by Dave Poorbaugh (a descendent of the original owner) and Randy Kilpatrick, manufactures and markets organic fertilizers, mineral packs for organic feeds, livestock feeds, garden/soil testing kits and flour. But, “we are primarily a grain-trading company,” says McBride, meaning they buy and resell grain. “We are jobbers, not brokers,” says Poorbaugh. As the company looks for grain, they start close to home. “As local sources disappear, we go further out,” says McBride. “Further out” might be as far as Illinois, Michigan or the Carolinas. McGeary Organics employs about 18 people. For more information, go to or call 1800-624-3279. The company will ship flour to you, so you can start baking right away.
Photo of the oldest, continuously operating flour mill in the U.S., circa 1905.

the sustainable community. Being involved with PASA is one more opportunity to support the organic and sustainable community.

How has your membership been a benefit to your business?

that herds can be certified faster than fields has led to a huge deficit in organic grain supplies. On the conventional side, ethanol and high energy prices have led to a great deal of instability in the markets that people are trying to deal with.
What do you see as the connection between sustainable ag and the consumer?

What is unique about your business?

I think we are unique in that we are very diverse. We trade conventional as well as organic grains, mill organic flour in a historic mill, as well as manufacturing certified organic feeds and fertilizer. Being involved in so many aspects of agriculture gives us a unique perspective.
Why did you join PASA?

Being a member provides us an avenue to interact with people and organizations that have an interest in sustainable agriculture. We really look forward to the annual meetings.
What do you see as some critical issues facing ag and ag-related businesses today?

We joined PASA because we are part of

Currently the most critical issue is the price of grains and ingredients. The fact

Consumers are hungry for something better. They are questioning the validity of global food processing, not just the quality of the food, but also the ethics of the production system. Sustainable ag connects local consumers with local producers with a similar beliefs. I

Advice for Protecting Bees

• Read the pesticide label and follow label directions. • Never use a pesticide pre-bloom, just before bees are brought in to pollinate. If a pesticide must be used, select one that has a lower toxicity to bees and apply only when bees are not foraging, preferably late evening. • Do not apply pesticides post-bloom until after the bees have been removed from the crop. • Avoid applications on a non-blooming crop if there is a risk of drift onto blooming crops and weeds while bees are in the area. If a spray must be applied, use the least toxic materials and apply when bees are not foraging.

In the midst of one of the most alarming die-offs of honey bees ever documented, Penn State Entomology Extension offers advice for beekeepers and growers of bee pollinated crops. The recent die-off of more than a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies has left many beekeepers devastated and growers wondering how they will pollinate their crops this season. The affliction, called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), was first discovered in November 2006 after a Pennsylvania beekeeper reported that more than 50 percent of his bee colonies he was overwintering in Florida had collapsed, meaning that the tens of thousands of bees that are supposed to be in each hive had simply disappeared. “Since the beginning of the year, beekeepers from all over the country have been reporting unprecedented losses,” said Maryann Frazier, apiculture extension associate in entomology at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. According to Frazier, symptoms of CCD include the sudden reduction or disappearance of the adult bee population without evidence of dead bees. “The hive will contain brood pollen and honey, with little evidence of robbing, wax moth or small hive beetle attack.” Researchers from Penn State, other universities, government agencies and other institutions formed the CCD working group to determine what factors are responsible for these unprecedented colony losses. The cause of CCD is still

largely a mystery with several factors such as a compromised immune system, poor nutrition, parasites, new viral or fungal diseases and chemical contamination being investigated. Researchers have collected samples in several states and have begun doing bee autopsies, chemical, and genetic analysis and say that a definitive answer for CCD could be months away Until there are answers, Frazier recommends a precautionary strategy on the part of beekeepers and growers in need of pollination services to reduce bee exposure to parasites, diseases and chemicals. “Chemicals include those being used within the hive for mite and disease control as well as pesticides used on crops that may inadvertently find their way into hives,” Frazier explains. • Know the pesticides you are using and their toxicity to bees (do not depend on a third party to provide this information).

• In the pre-bloom period, avoid the use of pesticides that are long-lived in or on the plant, such as some of the systemic pesticides. • Protect water sources from contamination of pesticides. Provide bees a clean source of water close to colony locations. Growers should be prepared to cope with a potential shortage of pollination services and plan well ahead. Frazier says “If growers have an existing contract or relationship with a beekeeper, they should contact that beekeeper as soon as possible to ascertain if the colonies they are counting on will be available.” For more information on honey bees and CCD, visit the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium Web site at MAAREC/ColonyCollapseDisorder.htm l. You may also contact Frazier at 814865 4621 or e-mail I


Hungry Parasites, Predators on Patrol
Use Biocontrol in the Field to Control: Corn Borer, Mexican Bean Beetle, Manure Flies Use Biocontrol in the Greenhouse to Control: Aphids, Whiteflies, Spider Mites, Thrips, Fungus Gnats
IPM Laboratories, Inc. • Phone: (315) 497-2063 Healthy Beneficials Guaranteed



Special Advertising Section
For this special summer issue of Passages we offered our PASA business members a chance to advertise their products and services they offer to smaller producers. We hope this special feature will be helpful for our members to get to know the businesses that support PASA and for the businesses to also forge new partnerships with their customers. Check out pages 13–26 to learn more! PASA staff and board would like to thank the following companies for helping us with this new endeavor: • Agri-Service LLC

Got Compaction?
Try “Bio-Drilling” with Forage Radishes
The new kid on the block — A cover crop that helps alleviate tight soils naturally! • • • • • Great for making a transition to no-till Planting window — late summer Can be grazed Outstanding winter weed control Nutrient pump — will scavenge other nutrients deep in soil profile

• Bakewell Reproductive Center LLC • BCS America • Dairyland Sales and Service Inc. • Emma’s Food For Life • Fertrell Company • Harris Seeds • Leona Meat Plant • Natural Dairy Products Corp. • Organic Valley/CROPP • Pennsylvania Certified Organic • Poultry Man LLC • Smucker’s Specialty Meats • Solair Energy Inc. PASA would also like to thank our advertorial writing staff: • Chris Fullerton • Michele Gauger • Laurel Hoffman • Heather House • Allison Shauger • Lauren Smith If you are a business interested in advertising in a future newsletter issue, contact Michele Gauger at PASA headquarters.

Early Cover Hairy Vetch
Natural N Production Weed Suppression Soil Builder Will add up to 150 lbs. N per acre, readily available to a succeeding crop Matures 1 week earlier than most hairy vetch varieties Ideal companion cover crop with rye Helps build soil structure & tilth Can be rolled down to promote a natural weed barrier

• • • • •

Steve Groff Seeds
717-575-6778 Holtwood, PA

Looking Towards Pennsylvania’s Energy Future
ou just don’t talk about greenhouses and energy conservation at the same time.” That’s what Cindy Latchaw heard from the manufacturer of her greenhouse when she called to find out what advances had been made in efficiency in the nine years since it was installed. There hadn’t been any. “Energy use wasn’t on their minds at all.” That’s why she was glad to read about Solair Energy in the PASA newsletter. Latchaw, who began producing hydroponic vegetables at her Mercer County Fair Winds Farm in 2002, immediately got on the phone to Pam Denlinger, Solair’s founder and CEO. This initiated Fair Winds Farm that continues an energy audit process for to this day. Solair Energy provided equipment that Latchaw used to Photo above: Solair Energy, measure energy demand Inc. founder and president, of equipment in her farming Pam Denoperalinger and installer Michael tion, and generated ideas Fisher at the recent PASA for retrofitting her old greenhouse conference. conserve energy. One suggestion to was to insulate the bottom where heat rails are located, systems for them. This makes so heat is reflected inward a great combination of services.” instead of being lost. Solair determined Solair is currently seeking the best site on the property customers with downhill a potential wind turbine, for streams to venture into microhydro and estimated costs and energy. “It can be a very productive benefits of locating solar panels on energy system for people top of the packing shed who own this resource. and market/auction house. Unlike wind or the sun, a good downhill stream runs constantly the Helping clients explore options yearround, so it generates electricity for a comparable cost to a just one of the services provided for reducing energy bills is photovoltaic system or small by Solair, which was founded scale wind turbine.” by Denlinger in 1995. The Being a small business owner company, based in Lycoming is always a challenge but has County, travels throughout the own rewards. “All of us at its state to service customers Solair Energy feel good about with renewable energy, energy efficiency being able to make a difference. and sustainable design solutions. Business is business, but Denlinger, who has worked it’s not always about the bottom in the energy conservatio line. Like many PASA members, n field since 1987, founded the have a missionary zeal to we company to provide energy help people, including fellow conservation services for public PASA members and farmers, to utility programs. “It was make their corner of the world a door of opportunity to do something a more sustainable place.” I I enjoyed and believed in.” Soon opportunit ies came to venture into solar energy, as Solair contracted with the PA Energy Association in 2001 to offer statewide training for the PA Renewable Energy Pilot Program; then cultivated their own installation crew to perform solar water heating and photovoltaic installations. Last year Solair installed a number of small wind systems throughout the state. Pam says, “I love providing people with this technology. People are often excited to find we are here — homegrown , local providers of renewable energy systems! I also love being able to offer a two-pronged approach of reducing customers’ energy needs through state-of-the -art energy conservation, and providing renewable energy




Production Manager Karl Knaub (left), and Fertrell owner Dave Mattocks (right), discuss operations on the new Granulator. fuel increasing, this was becoming significantly unsustainable!” “When Fertrell put in the Granulator and began manufacturing my custom product, it not only saved me money, but Fertrell made a better product — it was more dense and flowed better!” Paul closed by saying that North Country Organics has been working with Fertrell for nineteen years. Another satisfied Fertrell customer is Aaron Zook of Leola, who grows a variety of heirloom and specialty vegetables on four acres. “A few years ago I realized my plants and fields were in trouble. I wasn’t using the right amendments and I knew I had to do something different. I called ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas) for help, they gave me good advice and suggested Fertrell as a place where I could purchase some products. I didn’t know much about Fertrell, although I had seen their ads. But neither my father nor any of my neighbors were using them at the time, so I just wasn’t sure…but I gave them a call.” Aaron continued, “Dave Mattocks came out to my farm and walked my fields. He got me started on a program immediately. I did side-by-side trials with the other program I had been using just to be sure. I couldn’t believe it! The fields using the Fertrell program were greener and had better tasting vegetables! Starting a Fertrell program is one of the best things that has happened on my farm!” I

Fertrell Keeps Leading Edge with Unique Granulator


eaching their 60th anniversary this past year and being the oldest organic fertilizer producer in the U.S. was not enough for Dave Mattocks. “Granulation of our fertilizer has been a life long dream, and now it has become a reality. You see, materials which are ground and blended to form textured particles are much more beneficial for spreading and nutrient placement and that’s important to our customers.” Dave continued, “Our new Granulator is one-of-a-kind on the East Coast! A driving force at Fertrell has always been the production and distribution of high quality plant foods, but with the Granulator ready to roll, well, we have a real advantage, and we are very excited about that!” So the mood at Fertrell’s Bainbridge, Lancaster County plant has a new air of anticipation. “I will add, however,” Dave reported with a grin, “That this project has not happened without its share of hiccups! After two years in the making, and many dollars, we are now finally in production and this will bring a significant advantage to the Fertrell customer.” Fertrell has plans to offer several granulated products — to commercial landscapers, golf course superintendents, professional turf people, and the homeowner. A happy customer of Fertrell’s new Granulator is North Country Organics. “Before Fertrell had their Granulator in production, I was forced to have my fertilizer manufactured in Toronto,” reports owner Paul Sachs. “In fact, the Canadian company was not able to weigh and bag my product — it was simply shipped in bulk containers to Fertrell, who was bagging and shipping it back to my plant in Vermont. With the cost of


Quality, Service and Innovation



eona Meat Plant, based in Troy, (Bradford Co.) Pennsylvania, has been serving the needs of livestock producers around the region for 44 years. It was established in 1963, when Charles Debach fulfilled his dream of operating a business of his own. From its humble beginning as a two-room facility, the business expanded in 1967 to offer custom processing and boneless beef to “mom and pop” grocery stores and wholesale markets. In 1972 a retail store was added, which remains a popular stop for customers looking for a wide assortment of meat products and other goods such as dairy products, frozen seafood, fruits, and vegetables, bread, spaghetti sauces and more. Charles passed on his invaluable knowledge and butchering skills to his sons Mike and Charles II (Chick) while building his business. Today, the two sons operate Leona Meat Plant with eight employees. With business growing and manufacturing increasing yearly, Leona has expanded its services by preparing and packaging for private labels and has become a certified organic meat handler. Mike Debach, co-owner of Leona Meat Plant, says, “About 70 percent of our business is vacuum packaging, which includes a lot of private labeling. We are beginning to see more customers being conscious of where their food comes from and how it is raised — the whole Buy Fresh, Buy Local idea.” One farmer who has been working with the Leona Meat Plant for over a year now is Bill Callahan, owner of Cow-a-Hen Farm in Mifflinburg, (Union Co) Pennsylvania. Bill’s 100-acre operation includes beef, pork, turkey, ducks, and geese. “I learned about Leona from Kim Seeley (PASA board president and dairy farmer), who highly recommended them,” Bill says.

eona Meat Plant, based in Troy, (Bradford Co.) Pennsylvania, has been serving the needs of livestock producers around the region for 44 years. It was established in 1963, when Charles Debach fulfilled his dream of operating a business of his own. From its humble beginning as a two-room facility, the business expanded in 1967 to offer custom processing and boneless beef to “mom and pop” grocery stores and wholesale markets. In 1972 a retail store was added, which remains a popular stop for customers looking for a wide assortment of meat products and other goods such as dairy products, frozen seafood, fruits, and vegetables, bread, spaghetti sauces and more. Charles passed on his invaluable knowledge and butchering skills to his sons Mike and Charles&II (Chick) whileHandler his We are a USDA Inspected Plant Certified Organic building business. Today, the two sons operate Wrapping & Freezing with Set to do your Custom Meat Cutting, Leona Meat Plant eight employees. With business growing and manufacturing Beef * Pork * Lamb & Deer increasingSelect Cuts of Certified Organic Meat Now Available yearly, Leona has expanded its services by preparing and packaging for Orders for labels andGrass Finished Beef!certified Now Taking private All Natural has become a organic meat cut to your specifications. Choice front, hind or halves. meat handler. All Mike Debach, co-ownerSmoking of all Cuts!Plant, says, “About of Leona Meat Offering 70 percent of our business is vacuum packaging, which includes We ARRANGE TRUCKING! a lot of private labeling. We are beginning to see more cusOffering Friendly Service & Quality Products tomers being consciousPrices You Can Afford! comes from and of where their food At how it is raised — the whole Buy Fresh, Buy Local idea.” One farmerRD #2 Leona Road, Troy PA 16947 Leona Meat who has been working with the Plant for over a 570-297-3574 * Callahan, owner of Cow-a-Hen year now is Bill 1-800-416-3968 Serving the Community for Over 40 Years. Farm in Mifflinburg, (Union Co) Pennsylvania. Bill’s 100-acre “Quality pork, We Are ducks, operation includes beef, is Why turkey, Here” and geese. “I

“Let us Cut Your Meat For You” and

About 60 percent of Bill’s sales are through direct marketing. “I started working with Leona because they were willing to produce a high quality produce,” says Bill. Leona Meats currently produces hot dogs and kielbasa for Callahan, which have no nitrates and are made with organic ingredients. One of the unique aspects of Leona Meats is that they were willing to experiment — meaning they are Leona Meat Plant also sells all natural, grass-finished beef raised on their rich, natuwilling to work with any farmer that comes in rally managed grass and clover pastures without any growth hormones, antibiotics or to create a customized, unique meat product. chemicals — just as Mother Nature always intended. As Mike puts it, “In the end, if the experiment works, everyone ultimately benefits. “Having Leona Meats is a tremendous asset,” says Bill. “They have met all my expectations, are very timely with their production, and it would be very hard to find another processor to do a quality job like they do.” “It’s nice to be needed,” says Mike. “Working with the smaller/mid-sized farmers we do, we are thankful they see our business as a key to their survival. It is becoming more difficult to find USDA certified meat plants that will work with producers to create custom products that their buyers are looking for. Quality is why we are here. You can believe that you will never be disappointed.” I



Looking Towards Pennsylvania’s Energy Future


ou just don’t talk about greenhouses and energy conservation at the same time.” That’s what Cindy Latchaw heard from the manufacturer of her greenhouse when she called to find out what advances had been made in efficiency in the nine years since it was installed. There hadn’t been any. “Energy use wasn’t on their minds at all.” That’s why she was glad to read about Solair Energy in the PASA newsletter. Latchaw, who began producing hydroponic vegetables at her Mercer County Fair Winds Farm in 2002, immediately got on the phone to Pam Denlinger, Solair’s founder and CEO. This initiated an energy audit process for Fair Winds Farm that continues to this day. Solair Energy provided equipment that Latchaw used to measure energy demand of equipment in her farming operation, and generated ideas for retrofitting her old greenhouse to conserve energy. One suggestion was to insulate the bottom where heat rails are located, so heat is reflected inward instead of being lost. Solair determined the best site on the property for a potential wind turbine, and estimated costs and benefits of locating solar panels on top of the packing shed and market/auction house. Helping clients explore options for reducing energy bills is just one of the services provided by Solair, which was founded by Denlinger in 1995. The company, based in Lycoming County, travels throughout the state to service customers with renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable design solutions. Denlinger, who has worked in the energy conservation field since 1987, founded the company to provide energy conservation services for public utility programs. “It was a door of opportunity to do something I enjoyed and believed in.” Soon opportunities came to venture into solar energy, as Solair contracted with the PA Energy Association in 2001 to offer statewide training for the PA Renewable Energy Pilot Program; then cultivated their own installation crew to perform solar water heating and photovoltaic installations. Last year Solair installed a number of small wind systems throughout the state. Pam says, “I love providing people with this technology. People are often excited to find we are here — homegrown, local providers of renewable energy systems! I also love being able to offer a two-pronged approach of reducing customers’ energy needs through state-of-the-art energy conservation, and providing renewable energy

Photo above: Solair Energy, Inc. founder and president, Pam Denlinger and installer Michael Fisher at the recent PASA conference. systems for them. This makes a great combination of services.” Solair is currently seeking customers with downhill streams to venture into microhydro energy. “It can be a very productive energy system for people who own this resource. Unlike the wind or the sun, a good downhill stream runs constantly yearround, so it generates electricity for a comparable cost to a photovoltaic system or small scale wind turbine.” Being a small business owner is always a challenge but has its own rewards. “All of us at Solair Energy feel good about being able to make a difference. Business is business, but it’s not always about the bottom line. Like many PASA members, we have a missionary zeal to help people, including fellow PASA members and farmers, to make their corner of the world a more sustainable place.” I


“Natural” Choice Delivers Fresh Advantage


eady to discover a wonderful new bistro in the heart of Pennsylvania? Travel on beautiful Route 11/15 to the quaint town of Selinsgrove and head for Emma’s Food for Life — a fabulous new restaurant that’s all about fresh, gourmet, and healthy cooking with local ingredients. The experience will be guaranteed scrumptious and rewarding for your soul. Co-owner Emma Renninger grew up on a farm, so using farm-fresh ingredients was a “natural” choice. “I know what raising food is all about. When you have high standards and seek food you can trust to serve the public, then buying from sustainable local farmers is a natural!” declared Emma. So it’s a “natural” that many PASA farmers supply the meats, dairy, eggs, fruits and vegetables required for the seasonal menus. “100% of our meat is locally raised and grass-fed, and all the poultry and eggs are pasture-raised. It’s great to know our farmers. No concern over whether we can trust what a label or advertisement claims!” John Hopkins of Fork’s Farm, who supplies their chicken, eggs, beef and pork added, “It is refreshing to work with chefs that appreciate the difference in our food — from the taste and flavor to the nutritional qualities because of the way our food is grown.” The Kelleys at White Frost Farm, who provide a considerable lot of the veggies, agree. “The dialog that takes place between producer and restaurateur is rewarding; we are building relationships that in turn strengthen our local community,” commented Kit Kelley. (Left) Nick Charles and Emma Renninger, along with Emma’s staff, make a visit to Kit & Cathy Kelley’s White Frost Farm in Washingtonville. White Frost Farm supplies many vegetables to the newly opened restaurant in Selinsgrove, PA.

The area’s first natural food restaurant with an emphasis on local, seasonal foods.
Open Tuesday – Saturday 11:00am – 8:00pm Emma’s Food for Life, Inc. 11 South Market Street Selinsgrove, PA 17870 570-374-0178
Emma’s restaurant pursuits began early, when she worked as a waitress, then line cook, and became absorbed in food service. Her path eventually led her to Walnut Acres in Penns Creek in 1997 where she focused on product development. “I was really excited to work at Walnut Acres. Although I was a good cook and great baker, I wanted to understand natural foods better. I had passion for nutrition and unprocessed foods…and Walnut Acres taught me plenty!” Emma took that quest to new heights recently when she graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in June. Emma’s partner Nick Charles added, “When affirming our goals for this project, Emma and I knew we wanted to source ingredients from our local farmer neighbors. We wanted to support the community that in turn will support us. Environmentally also, it felt like the right thing to do.” Emma and Nick have a quest to please the patron. “We guarantee delicious and nutritious food, but take it a step further too, offering our patrons vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options,” states Emma. “And all the breads and baked goods are prepared fresh daily on the premises.” “A soon-to-be famous dish on our menu is the pizza, because we have a not-so-secret ingredient,” Emma teased, “from our friends at Selinsgrove Brewing Company. We retrieve the spent grain from their brewing process, dehydrate it and turn it into flour. It delivers a boost of nutrition and fiber to our crust!” Emma’s Food for Life. Stop by for some amazing fresh cooking, while supporting regional farms and an independent eatery. I


The BCS Advantage


n Europe, many farms are small in size and intensively cultivated by walk-behind two-wheeled tractors that perform multiple tasks. Founded in the 1940’s by Engineer Luigi Castoldi, BCS helped pioneer the mechanization of agriculture in Italy. The tradition of innovation continues, and, today, BCS is Europe’s largest manufacturer of two-wheeled tractors. With the advent of the “back to the earth” movement in the late Sixties and early Seventies, BCS came to America and has become a popular choice of farmers and rural property owners. BCS proudly counts many PASA members as customers and categorizes its products as “appropriate technology.” For all applications, BCS is designed around the three goals of durability, performance, and versatility. BCS tractors are all-gear-driven. A heavy-duty, double cone clutch transfers power from a Honda gasoline or Yanmar diesel engine to a precision-crafted transmission. Supported by embedded ball bearings, all transmission shafts and gears are heat-treated steel and running in oil bath. The result is a durable piece of equipment designed to deliver decades of superior performance. The key design feature of each tractor is that the handles rotate 180 degrees, enabling the use of both front- and rear-

mount attachments. In less than a minute, with the aid of BCS’s quick coupler, the operator can switch from a rearmount tiller or rotary plow to a front-mount sickle bar mower, rotary brush mower, shredder/chipper, snowthrower, etc. “The versatility of BCS is fantastic,” according to Larry Seymour, general manager of BCS America. “Because each new job only requires the purchase of an attachment, the farmer gets a lot better return on his investment with a BCS ‘system’ of twowheel tractor and attachments, than with separate pieces of single purpose, belt- and chain-driven equipment.” For market gardeners, BCS is particularly excited about the rotary plow attachment. Designed for “minimum impact,” ten inches of soil is loosened in a single pass without the creation of plow sole or excessive pulverization. Other uses for the plow include building raised beds, hilling, trenching, and burying cover crops. We caught up with PASA member, John Clendenin, here in Centre County. John raises 1.5 acres of vegetables and uses the BCS rotary plow to make raised beds. “I wasn’t sure it was a piece I would use much. But now, I would tell folks looking to buy a BCS to get the rotary plow attachment first.” John also owns the tiller, lawnmower, and sickle bar mower. His overall assessment of his 13HP BCS tractor and implements: “It’s well made, it’s easy to use…strong but quiet.” BCS invites you to make your own assessment. Investigate “the BCS Advantage” by requesting their free catalog and dvd of the BCS “in action.” Both are available by calling their tollfree number (800-543-1040) of by contacting them, via the website ( I Designed for “minimum impact” the BCS rotary plow attachment loosenes 10 inches of soil in a single pass without the creation of plow sole or excessive pulverization.



Natural Dairy Product Corporation’s Natural by Nature brand dairy products are produced with milk solely from members of the Lancaster Organic Farmers Cooperative (LOFCO). it’s never more than 17 days from the farm. This is because Natural by Nature products are pasteurized with an “HTST” process, or “High Temperature, Short Time.” This process eliminates any pathogenic micro-organisms, but does not render the milk sterile or compromise the nutritional value of the milk. In sharp contrast, most organic milk available in the supermarket is “ultra-pasteurized,” which is a process that not only removes any bacteria, but also renders milk so sterile it remains usable for 55–60 days! Natural Dairy has just successfully completed a new, certified organic, processing facility in Reading, PA (Berks Co). The new facility allows for expanded production of their Natural By Nature brand of butter, sour cream and buttermilk, spray drying capabilities to meet the growing need for organic dairy powders, as well as research and development of some exciting new products for the future. “This is big for us,” said Ned. “It gives us a whole new flexibility in receiving milk and manufacturing products.” When asked for his best advice for farmers, Ned MacArthur says “Get grass-based. Anymore, it’s the common sense thing to do for your cows.” I

Grass-fed & Organic… Natural by Nature


n 1994 Ned MacArthur and his father Norman teamed up with four organic dairy farmers in Lancaster County to create a whole system in which grass-fed, organic milk could be produced, transported, processed and packaged. The idea was to give farmers who were producing high-quality milk a chance to showcase their milk in a branded line of high-quality milk products. Natural Dairy Products created the Natural by Nature brand, which is supplied solely by members of the Lancaster Organic Farmers Cooperative (LOFCO). Natural by Nature is unique in that every cow that produces milk for LOFCO is raised organically and on pasture. The farmers of LOFCO are committed to excellence, and Natural Dairy Products is in turn committed to providing consumers with highquality milk products. Think all organic milk is the same? Think again. Most organic milk at your supermarket comes from cows that are fed a primarily grain-based diet. Milk from grass-fed cows contains higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) than that of cows fed grain. CLA is an Omega 6 fatty acid, which studies have shown helps in disease prevention. Grass-fed milk naturally contains higher levels of Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E because grass itself contains more of these nutrients than grain. According to Ned, “Natural Dairy Products tests for CLA and Omega 3 and we see that there is a difference in the product when it is grass based.” Natural by Nature dairy products are also unique because they retail as fresh as regulators allow. When a consumer purchases a gallon of Natural by Nature milk, they can be sure that

Natural Dairy Products Corporation P.O. Box 464 West Grove, PA 19390 (610) 268-6962 ph • (610) 268-4172 fx

Fresh...from the meadow to the market!


An Important Link in the Sustainable Food System
hey are a delight to work with, both innovative and flexible with new products and packaging,” says Scott Barao of Hedgeapple Farm in Maryland. Barao, a certified humane Angus beef producer, who travels 90 miles to work with Smucker’s Quality Meats in Mount Joy (Lancaster Co.). Scott wasn’t able to find a USDA inspected facility in his area, a common problem among small livestock producers across the country that need butchers who are willing to work one-on-one with customers, handle smaller quantities and create custom products. Since 1965, Smucker’s Quality Meats has been a familyowned business and today is a USDA-inspected slaughter, fabricating and processing plant, which includes vacuum packaging and flash freezing. Along with 20 full-time and parttime employees, Jay Smucker and his two sons Mike (director of food safety) and Jason (production manager), process beef, pork and bison, as well as some sheep and goats. According to Mike, “A majority of our customers found us via word of mouth. We really didn’t do much advertising,” he says. “Many of the producers we work with found us within the last 2–3 years. All of their operations vary in size in, but the bulk of them are in the Lancaster area. We currently process about 20–25 head per week,” he continued. Bob Hershey is a grass-fed beef producer has been working with the Smucker’s for years. He also owns a retail outlet, Hershey Harvest in Reading, which sells mostly prepared foods, but is now marketing his frozen beef. A newer customer, Phillip Horst-Landis of Meadow Run Farm in Lititz (Lancaster Co.) said, “I am impressed with their animal handling skills. The pens and set-up are much gentler than other places I have seen, which lessens the stress on the animals. They also are very committed to working with smaller-scale farmers. We personally are still working out the kinks in our production schedule and other details. But it is nice having them nearby so we are able to sell and deliver fresh meat to our markets.” According to Mike, “We have been working to create better flow for moving the animals to reduce stress. You can tell a difference in the carcass quality if an animal has been under stress. We have also attended workshops by Temple Grandin and read her research in regards to treating animals humanely and reducing their stress.


Jay Smucker and his two sons Mike and Jason of Smucker’s Quality Meats. The company has been serving livestock producers since 1965. In addition to custom butchering, Smucker’s also produces value-added products such as barbecue, jerky and sausage in addition to ham and bacon. About half of the sausage and hams they produce is nitrate free. Smucker’s themselves also wholesales their own barbecue and beef jerky to independent grocers, which is about a quarter of their business. But according to Mike “Our main business is to be the processor between the producer and the consumer — not to market the beef products, but rather our services. Educating consumers is a big part of this and something we really enjoy. Instead of retailing, we’re interested in helping customers develop consumer markets for their product.” I


Ridge Shinn and Gearld Fry of Bakewell Reproduction Center LLC, frequently attend and sponsor the annual PASA conference. Their business has been asset to several grass-fed producers. breed. Butchers verify that they produce marbled carcasses with an excellent ratio of meat to bone — two pluses for the direct marketer. The Rotokawa® Devon herd has been closely bred for years. This paired with ruthless culling has led to extremely prepotent bulls that have the ability to transfer quality consistently to their progeny. Ask Brian Futhey and he will tell you. Brian is a dairy farmer/cheese maker who started a small beef herd with two purebred Devon heifers. He has been using the Rotokawa® semen for three years now, not just on his heifers but also on some of his Milking Shorthorns. “I can’t always tell the purebreds from the crossbreds,” claims Brian. “It’s incredible the influence the Rotokawa® genetics has on whatever it’s paired with. The great temperament of these animals was an unexpected benefit. And these cattle are great grazers, they seem to find grass even when I think there’s none there.” Visit for carcass evaluation test results on Rotokawa® Devon cross-bred cattle. Eighty-seven percent graded choice and tenderness values are better than restaurant quality. For financial success, consider these cattle that will fatten on grass in 18 months and then cut out at 65–75% of Hot Carcass Weight. Bakewell’s mission is to equip producers with knowledge and skills so they themselves can create great herds. They want to teach people how to fish, not just give them a fish. I

Reviving the Rural Economy


wners Gearld Fry and Ridge Shinn have a passion to revive the rural economy. Their expertise is grass-fed cattle that produce superior quality beef, and they strive to restore family farms one cow herd at a time. Started in 2002 and headquartered in Hardwick, Massachusetts, Bakewell Reproductive Center offers comprehensive services including consulting, seminars, on-farm visits, livestock evaluation, and prescribed breeding programs. Many livestock producers have made great strides towards creating the right kind of cattle that will grow and finish on grass by incorporating the semen, embryos and/or live bulls from the Rotokawa® Devon bloodlines, that only Bakewell offers, into their breeding programs. When the McCormicks in Portage, PA decided to transition their commercial/Angus based herd to Devons, they purchased several Rotokawa® embryos from Bakewell and used their best cows as surrogate mothers. “Starting this way has put us years ahead than if we chose an alternative approach,” says Darla. “The resulting calves get no grain, are gaining and looking great on grass, and are wonderful to work with.” For a total grass-based operation to be profitable the producer needs animals that are moderate in size yet possess tremendous body width and depth. Most cattle today are the result of pressure from the feedlot industry for tall, big framed, late maturing cattle that can stay on grain for 120 days and produce large, lean carcasses. Many other British breeds (Angus, Hereford, Shorthorn) have a subset of cattle that still have the correct attributes to get the job done on a total grass diet. Of them all, Bakewell has found the Devon to be the best. These early maturing, goodnatured cattle have historically been known as the butcher’s


Rise of the Un- Corporation
ou probably know Organic Valley Family of Farms as a trusted source of organic foods, but did you know the cooperative behind the Organic Valley brand has grown to be a family of over 1,100 like-minded farm families across America, offering milk, cheese, butter, eggs, juices, meats, produce and soy beverages? Organic and farmer-owned since 1988, Organic Valley’s decisions are based on the health and welfare of people, animals and the earth. In today’s world, companies need to think differently, large corporations control business including government, global energy, agriculture and the global food supply. Organic Valley serves small farmers and the rural community health by combining two alternative business models — the family farm and the cooperative. The cooperative was formed to nurture local communities by keeping farmers on the land, farming. Organic Valley’s voice of over 1,100 farmers represents approximately 10% of all certified the organic farmersing community in America. Organic Valley credits their success to the partnerships society created between farmers, employees and citizens. As more farmers join the cooperative, they continually work to balance supply with consumer demand and labor needed to support their marketing operations. To enhance their sustainability, they have adopted a profit sharing model that recognizes the contributions of all: 45% profits to farmers, 45% profits to employees and 10% profits to community. According to Travis Forgues, an Organic Valley Vermont farm-owner, “Organic Valley was founded by farmers, is owned by its farmers and is driven by a mission to save family farms, as well as to give future generations an opportunity to farm.” Kore Yoder, owner of Bev-R-Lane Farms in Lewisburg, PA (Union Co.) is a 13th generation farmer. In 1995, after taking over the farming operation from his parents, Noah and Amanda, Kore was tired of receiving low and unstable pay prices in return for the hard work of milking cows day and night. At that point Kore decided to sell the herd and focus on the crop production at the farm. “By 2000, the organic market had grown to the point that we felt confident the demand was there, and we had heard about Organic Valley, an organic farmers’ cooperative based in Wisconsin that was expanding its membership here in the East. We decided to go organic, revive the dairy farm, and join the coop. For me, transitioning the crops was a ‘no-brainer’. I had been cultivating soybeans and corn and


hadn’t used chemicals for years. It was raising cattle organically without antibiotics that I had my doubts about, as we made the decision to purchase cows that were in transition,” said Kore. “Farming the way we are, I have more time for my family. It’s true we have more work, but I feel we are raising the children in an environment that’s friendlier and safer. Without a doubt, we have a better quality of life,” Kore states. Organic Valley’s base of loyal customers allows them to continue bringing more farm families into the cooperative, along with the land, water and animals they protect. “Consumer demand for organic food continues to grow rapidly,” says Jamie Johnson, Organic Valley’s community relations manager. “Educational efforts have been successful at raising consumer awareness about organic and the benefits of eating organic food.” The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1888-444-MILK or visit, and the cooperative’s farmers’ website, I Pictured left, Organic Valley sponsors PASA’s Farming for the Future Conference. Peter Miller (seated) is their Northeast Dairy Pool Coordinator and works directly with regional farmers.


Poultry Processing Equipment that Works!

Eli M. Reiff 570-966-0769 922 Conley Road • Mifflinburg, PA 17844


li Reiff, also known as The Poultry Man, has risen to a relative celebrity status among producers of pastured poultry in Pennsylvania. PASA members since 2001, the Poultry Man and his family have truly enabled poultry farmers by providing them the equipment necessary for do-it-yourself, on-farm butchering. The Poultry Man equipment is recognized by its cost-effectiveness, efficiency and high quality stainless steel design based on Eli’s 27 years of commercial processing experience. His complete line offers propane-fueled scalders that maintain a steady heat (147 degrees seems to do it) while the motor rotates the birds for a pre-set and adjustable length of time. The scalder then conveniently stops automatically. Poultry Man pluckers, both broiler and turkey-sized, are cleverly designed with a water shower over-head to eliminate skin tearing. Most recently, Poultry Man has created a complete mobile processing unit that includes lazy-Susan style kill-cones with splashguard/blood collection tray, scalder, plucker, eviscerating table, and chill tank — all on a transportable 6 x 12 foot road-legal trailer. For the new or small-scale pastured poultry grower, this recent addition to the Poultry Man equipment line is revolutionary! As Jean Nick and Tom Colbaugh of Happy Farm in Kintnersville, PA demonstrated at PASA’s last Pastured Poultry Field Day, the Poultry Man mobile processing unit has enabled them The Mobile Processing Unit in action. The unit is available for rent for $100 a day from Jean Nick & Tom Colbaugh of Happy Farm in Kintnersville, PA, 610-306-2796.

Scalder — (above center) 42 gallon rotary, gas fired with auto control temp timer. 60,000 BTU, all stainless steel. Mechanical Plucker (above right) — 3⁄4 HP motor, motor totally enclosed. 10:1 Gear reduction, 27” diameter, stainless steel with shower. ALSO AVAILABLE Manual Scalder — Hand dunk birds. 42 gallon, 45,000 btu.

to take their operation to the next level; easily meeting the ever increasing consumer demand for pastured poultry on their own schedule and without having to transport birds. What I like best about the mobile processing unit is that it empowers farmers and communities to process poultry for a nominal cost and minimal commitment. If you have 2 extension cords, 2 hoses and $100, you can rent the unit for a day with the peace of mind that this Poultry Man design will be easy to use, reliable, and stand the test of time. I first came to know Poultry Man equipment while working on Forks Farm in Orangeville, PA. Bringing with me to the processing table a high appreciation for big shiny machines that actually do what they’re supposed to do, when they’re supposed to do it, I was amazed at the Poultry Man scalder’s features (maintaining temperature and timed rotation!) and effectiveness. I recently discovered that this scalder, which seemed so inventively well designed, was Eli’s very first model scalder made nearly 7 years ago. I also learned of all the improvements made to the subsequent models such as an insulated front panel to prevent heat loss and accidental burns (or perhaps the less serious but more likely: apron melting) by the operator. Having seen the Poultry Man demonstrate his stellar equipment and knowing the reputation he has among his fiercely loyal pastured poultry clientele, it is obvious that Eli Reiff ’s business is constantly evolving as he listens to farmers and innovates better designs. If you have high standards for value and durability, you’ll find Poultry Man equipment meets your processing needs — it’s uncomplicated, valuable, and the bottom line is: it works! I


Humble Beginnings, Exciting Growth, Promising Future


ere’s the quick version of Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO)…in 1996 a few farmers got together (all PASA members incidentally) around a kitchen table and agreed that Pennsylvania, with its rich heritage of organic farming, needed its own organic certification agency. Right then and there they dreamed up the mission and purpose of PCO, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. PCO started with 20 farmers, no dairies, and 1 part-time employee. PCO now certifies 400 operations (including 200 dairy farms), employs 12 staff and 15 inspectors. Beyond their growing dairy market, other operations include such commodities as mushrooms, poultry, beef, maple products, pretzels & snacks, feed processing, and even coffee roasting. PCO also represents Pennsylvania organic producers at state, national and international organic policy-making opportunities. “We want to make sure organic regulations remain strict and sensible” stated PCO Executive Director Leslie Zuck.

The staff at Pennsylvania Certified Organic is available to answer your questions and concerns about becoming a certified organic producer or business. PCO staff and board are pleased with the role they’ve played in the increased interest in organic foods and farming. “Pennsylvania ranks in the U.S. top 10 for organic mushrooms, dairy, poultry and overall organic production,” added Zuck. “We work diligently to offer quality certification services to this growing market.” “Concentrating on the needs of new people coming into certification is key,” stated Zuck. “In response to requests from the many new farmers and processors interested in organic certification, we have created the ‘Organic Transition Team.’ These certification specialists work with new applicants directly, from the first time they call until, and even after, they achieve certification. In some cases our organic transition specialists visit the operation to assist in the comprehension of what is required during the certification process. We feel that this level of personal care is necessary to reduce the steepness of the learning curve.” An example of this PCO approach is a company new to their certification roster — Land O’ Lakes Purina Feed, who is about to launch an organic line of livestock feed. Ingredient Merchant Scott Davenport acknowledged, “PCO has been great throughout this whole process, very professional. This is our first venture into organics, and it has been a real adventure! Learning all the rules and regs in organic livestock feed production has been extremely complex, but the professional staff at PCO has lent our company tremendous guidance in the process.” Mike and Terra Brownback at Spiral Path Farm, who have a 1,000 member CSA, sell through a farmers market, and wholesale, give a similar glowing testimonial. “We decided early on that organic agriculture was what we would do. Our love of PCO begins with the mission statement ‘assuring the integrity of organic agricultural products.’ We think that says a lot…and says a lot about us!” Leslie Zuck concluded, “PCO is grateful for PASA educational opportunities and we’re happy to support the field day program and annual Farming for the Future Conference.” There you have it folks, a simple story with powerful longevity. I

Our Organic Transition Team will help you navigate the certification process.
Contact us for a free info pack or to connect with our weekly organic marketplace newsletter.


Providing A Variety of Farm and Homeowner Needs

er. “We bought the first furnace to heat the milk bottling operation and our store. It worked so well, we recently purchased a second to heat our house. It is a great heat source, since it burns wood or coal and we sometimes burn waste hay or cardboard.” Seeley has been working with Tom for at least 10 years saying, “We also purchase our high tensile fencing supplies and animal drenches for our dairy cows from Dairyland. I know I could get these supplies anywhere, but it is just important to me to support the local guy, who also gives us great service.” Dairyland offers dairy equipment supplies, and animal health products. Jobe water valves and Gallagher Fencing products are available for your pasturing needs. They are also a distributor of shadecloth and row cover fabric. Their selection of sustainable agriculture and gardening books continues to grow, and they also offer a selection of children’s classics, inspirational, history, nature, and travel books. Dairyland is here to serve you — with the tools you need to farm efficiently — to tend livestock and crops, to operate an ag related business and to heat your home. Give them a call. I


ooking to invest in a new storage or barn facility? How about a pellet or corn stove? Then Dairyland Sales & Service based in Troy (Bradford Co.) may be just the resource you are looking for. Tom Roe, owner of Dairyland Sales & Service, took over a business in 1991 that was focused mainly on dairy equipment and supplies, and in recent years shifted the focus to alternative buildings and outdoor furnaces. “We currently sell Winkler and Harnois structures,” says Tom. Winkler Structures are made of heavy-duty allied steel frames with a 20’ to 120’ wide clear span. The covers (roofs) are reinforced 12 oz. poly. Harnois buildings are designed in the greenhouse-style of construction and utilize double poly roof systems, where air is blown between two layers. According to Tom, “Both styles of these buildings are ideal for livestock, with superior light and ventilation. And they can be constructed fairly quickly.” Tom recently sold a 67’x 300’ customized composting bedded pack structure to be used as an organic dairy barn. It features 40' center height, permanent catwalk, 6' eave extension feed area and clear roof cover. Some of the structures Tom has sold have become horse-riding arenas, composted bedding pack barns and storage facilities. One happy customer of a Winkler structure is Lorin Nauman, “I would recommend this type of building to anyone.” Nauman recently purchased a 72’ by 140’ free-standing canvas covered barn that he uses as a riding arena at his Warriors Mark, PA (Centre Co.) stables. “I did a cost comparison between the Winkler structure and a traditional pole bar, the prices were comparable, but the time to erect the building and labor involved with the Winkler building was much less.” With a little help from three teenagers, Nauman was able to construct his new riding arena. In addition to the buildings Dairyland also offers Heat Master stainless steel outdoor furnaces that can burn wood, coal or corncobs and also St. Croix indoor pellet and corn stoves. Kim Seeley, PASA board president and Bradford Co. dairy farmer, purchased an outdoor furnace and has since purchased anoth24

Dairyland Sales and Service
Tom Roe, owner R.D.#3, Box #43 • Troy, PA 16947 570-297-3708, ext.22 for messages • 800-718-3708
Your supplier for: • Winkler Structures • Harnois Greenhouses • Distributor for poly roof replacements, shadecloth, & many ground cover fabrics • Heatmaster Stainless Steel & St. Croix Alternative Heating Systems • Large Selection of Sustainable Agricultural & Gardening Books, Childrens’ Classics, History, Christian/Inspirational, Americana, Railroading, Photography, Nature, Travel


Superior Product, Fair Price


ow many companies can say they have been around for 128 years? I can’t name many, but one that can claim they have is Harris Seeds, based in Rochester, New York. Harris Seeds was established in 1879 by Joseph Harris as a catalog seed operation and for over 100 years was managed by Harris family members, until 1979 when it was sold to corporate ownership. Another transition took place in 1987 when the company was sold to private owners who still run the business today with 40 full time employees and 60–70 seasonal workers. When I spoke with Dick Chamberlin, President of Harris Seeds, I asked, “What sets your company apart from other seed and supply businesses?” According to Chamberlin, “I think at least two things, first — quality. We were the first company to test for germination on every lot of seed and print the results on every package. We have an in-house germ-testing lab to ensure superiority with our product. Secondly, we pride ourselves on our service to our customers and building relationships with the growers.” One customer that can attest to Harris’s high level of service is Harry Hicks of Townville, PA. Harry has only been a customer for about a year, but says “We have worked closely with the sales people…my family recently moved and they were very helpful in making suggestions of what species we should try and alternatives to those that didn’t do well at our location. They also have a wide selection of organic and untreated seed.” Customers of Harris Seed spread across all 50 states with a majority of those in New England, New York and Pennsylvania. “We definitely tend to focus on the middle sized and small growers, which accounts for about 80% of our sales. The other 20% comes from the two Harris Seeds salesmen that travel throughout the Northeast. These growers are often more interested in high quality, fresh market vegetable varieties,” says Chamberlin. In addition to seed and grower supplies, Harris also sells plug and liner transplants. “This system has actually become more efficient with both labor and energy costs,” says Chamberlin. Instead of growers starting their own transplants in the greenhouse in January/February, they order pre-started plugs, grow them on in the spring, and are ready to sell in a few weeks. A greenhouse owner in Honesdale, PA has been a Harris Seed customer for 20+ years, noting they are the only seed company she deals with.

Ethan Phillips of Waynesburg PA, who owns a greenhouse/nursery operation, is one of Harris’s newer customers. “A friend passed a catalog on to us. It has been great working with them so far, their service has allowed me to track shipments and find culture resources.” What other unique items does Harris offer? “Our ornamentals (flower) selection is growing with the use of cuttings from various species. Also we have a large selection of disease resistant vegetable varieties. Pumpkins are probably our biggest seller, especially the varieties that are resistant to powdery mildew and crop destroying viruses.” Chamberlin continues, “We strive to provide the finest products at a fair price.” I


Standing beside a cheese bag trolley and pictured left to right is the Agri-Services crew of Larry Wampler, Sales; Marlin Wampler, Product Manager; and holding a curd fork is Dale Martin, President. work better and their customer service is excellent. It is a pleasure to deal with someone who doesn’t treat you like you are too small to be worth their time.” Rather than recommending that a farmer invest in expensive equipment, Agri-Service LLC will help a farmer assess the equipment they already have to determine whether retrofitting or revamping an older piece will work. For example, some farmers are able to use an old milk tank to make cheese. If a farmer doesn’t have a suitable piece of equipment, they may be able to buy refurbished equipment from Dairy Heritage, which offers rebuilt vat pasteurizers, HTST (high temperature, short time) pasteurizers, homogenizers, bottle fillers, separators, pumps, tanks and specializes in rebuilding bottle washers for glass milk bottles. With the resurgence of on-farm value-added dairy processing, used small equipment is getting hard to come by. Through Dairy Heritage, Agri-Service also manufactures new and custom equipment including cheese vats, and other cheese equipment. Agri-Services can provide help in planning and layout of a plant to maximize efficiency. Whether just getting started or upgrading a plant, Agri-Service is dedicated to helping farmers get a clear direction and save money. Dairy Heritage – you can buy with confidence from the people with experience! I

Adding Value to Dairy


n response to the burgeoning market for artisan cheeses and farmstead dairy products, more and more dairy farmers are making and selling value-added dairy products. But before turning milk into cheese, ice cream or yogurt, a farmer must first familiarize themselves with the equipment and regulations of the trade. That’s when many turn to Agri-Service LLC based in Hagerstown, Maryland. Through its branded line of Dairy Heritage equipment, Agri-Service has helped numerous farmers get equipped to begin on-farm processing. Dairy Heritage cheese making and other processing equipment is designed by cheesemakers and other food processing experts and built by Pennsylvania Amish shops and other local manufacturers. The Dairy Heritage brand is all about high quality while maintaining affordability for artisan cheesemakers, small bottling plants, and other farmstead food processing ventures. Dairy Heritage equipment works well for small operations such assheep and goat milk processing and cheese making, as well as for larger farmstead cheesemakers and processors. The equipment is designed to bridge the gap between the countertop equipment for your kitchen and the large-scale equipment available for the big commercial processing plants. Agri-Service LLC is unique because of the service they provide to the beginning value-added dairy producer. Agri-Service can make equipment recommendations, design a processing room, help a processor navigate state and federal regulations, and even help a processor build a relationship with their local sanitation and building inspectors. Cheesemaker Melanie Dietrich Cochran of Keswick Creamery turned to Agri-Services when she started a cheesemaking business on her family’s dairy farm. “Agri-Services has been great to work with. As a small business they understand the needs of small, on-farm processors. They are always open to new ideas and have suggestions for making your small business

Editor’s Corner

The Grapevine

by Michele Gauger

cultural and organic organizations, and grass roots campaigns. Visit the Seed to Plate® website at Meat Goat Production & Marketing Survey On behalf of the meat goat industry in the MidAtlantic, the Keystone Development Center (KDC) is conducting a survey of goat-meat production and marketing capacity. The survey is being conducted on-line and it takes a few minutes to complete. KDC would also be happy to send a paper form of the survey to those without Internet access, call 814-687-4937. The survey is at s.aspx?sm=GP8g3OVw1QzzGnpGouh8sg %3d%3d Whole Foods Market Announces Low-Interest Loan Program For Local Food Producers Whole Foods Market, the leading organic

and natural foods supermarket, is seeking local farmers and other food producers who are interested in participating in its new Local Producer Loan Program. The company plans to provide up to $10 million annually in low-interest loans to small producers in the U.S. The Local Producer Loan Program is part of Whole Foods Market’s renewed commitment to local agriculture. Those interested can find more information and a loan application at the website, products/locallygrown/lplp/index.html. New Book Available by John Ikerd A Return to Common Sense focuses on the “great transition” from a society based on a mechanistic approach to science and an industrial paradigm of economic development to a new organismic approach to science and a sustainable paradigm of resource development. It is much broader in scope and even more philosophical than Sustainable Capitalism. It includes the personal and spiritual dimensions of sustainability as well as the economic, ecological, and social. Visit http://edwardspub .com/books to order.

New Website Promotes Dialogue on Agricultural, Environmental & Artistic Issues Seed to Plate® is a non-profit, informational blogsite dedicated to providing a forum for the discussion of global agricultural, environmental, and artistic issues with the goal toward community participation and positive action. In addition to being an up-to-date news source that promotes discussion and interaction, Seed to Plate® is also a reliable reference site linking visitors and participants to environmental associations, groups and initiatives, agri-



Classified Ads/Employment

HELP WANTED – North Star Orchard is in need of PT/FT help from now through harvest. Good pay & flexible hrs. available. Located near West Chester, Avondale & Cochranville in Chester Co. Call Ike at 610-486-6235 or visit SCHOOL GARDENER - The Westtown School, position is PT, 12-month, faculty position. Contact L. Jay Farrow, Associate Head of School,Westtown School, PO Box 1799, Westtown, PA 19395 or INTERNS WANTED — The Pfeiffer Center in Chestnut Ridge, NY seeks interns for one year starting September 2007. Contact Carol Rosenberg, 845-352-5020 x20, POSITION SOUGHT- Stable, reliable couple seeking long-term farm manager position. Experience includes all aspects of managing a three-acre farm for three years. On-farm housing a plus. East Coast preferred, but all responses considered. Contact Brad at POSITIONS AVAILABLE - at Seven Stars Farm, an 80 cow Organic/Biodynamic dairy farm located in Phoenixville, PA. FT herdsperson & PT milker to help produce the high-quality milk we use to make Seven Stars Organic Yogurt. Contact David Griffiths at or 610-933-1222.

INTERN WANTED - Windermere Farm, a grassbased beef farm. Intern would be responsible for helping with cattle operation & grass fed poultry. Internship is unpaid, room and board provided, with option of working at our new restaurant (hours would be paid). Contact Mark at 570-5398779 or 570-854-4621. HELP WANTED - Mung Dynasty is looking for early (6:30am) help with growing, packaging & delivery. PT (30hrs+) to also help with events & farmers’ markets. Starting pay is $7.50, more depending on experience. Call Chris before noon 412-381-1350. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey is looking for an entrepreneurial executive to build on its 22year history. Full position profile visit: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – The Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education, seeks ED for this startup nonprofit organization. The Center is located on 189-acres of farmland between York & the Susquehanna River. The Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education, P.O. Box 131, Thomasville, PA 17364. WANTED – Motivated individual(s) to start up a small animal (goats & sheep) operation on 60acre farm near Honesdale, PA. Many possibilities exist - lease, joint venture, etc. & production options. Contact

FOR SALE – 4 –inch Soil blocker, in great shape, hardly used. Just like Johnny’s Seed Product #9016. Asking $90,will ship from DuBois, PA (approx $10 for shipping). Contact David Chirico 814 371 1033 or FOR SALE - 1 RARE Hereford hog boar approximately one year old. This hog is excellent quality & proven breeder. The boar is no longer needed for breeding & he will be going to the market! Contact Sam at and I will set you up to contact “Charlie’s” owner. FOR SALE – Organic hay, $20 4x4 round bales, great for cattle/horses, Washington County, PA, contact Chris Lyle @ 724-267-2831 FOR SALE - 63 acres of GOA Certified Organic 2007 Hay – Red Clover/Timothy/Rye Grass mix. 199 acres of new seeding – Red Clover available this fall. Baled to your specification. $110/Ton FOB my farm in NE Iowa (Plainfield). Bruce Vosseller 414-354-0524 FOR SALE - Dairy Sheep Operation, 24 ewes, 7 choice ewe lambs and 2 rams. Complete operation for sale, livestock equipment, milking equipment and fencing. Located in central Bucks County, prices for all or any parts. Call Matt Kanagy 215-527-2370. FOR SALE - 100 acres of land for sale in PA. The land is currently being farmed and harvested but



Classified Ads/Employment

the lease expires in Jan. 08’. Contact Lori Long 814-934-5545. FOR SALE — Farm ready for organic certification. 90 tillable acres. Excellent soils and water. Nice barn, buildings and house. Scenic mountain valley, woods, stream, level fields. Near Grover, Bradford County, PA. $550K. Call Earl Dalrymple. 570-673-5214. FOR SALE — NY horse farm, located 15 minutes from Ithaca, NY in the small Hamlet of Speedsville. Call 570-226-0644 or e-mail

VENDORS WANTED — Carlisle Central Farmers Market, opening September 2007, is a dynamic year round indoor market consisting of 27 vendor stands. Join us! For vendor leasing details call 717-249-0789 x 136. WANTED — 50-100Ac old farm in SCentralSWest PA. Seclusion is very important, not encroached in developments, no old strip mining location, will be certified organic for goats, lamb & berries. Prefer direct contact with owners. Contact Don & Emily Angel 412-849-2626 or WANTED — Budding farmer or interested consumer to market some of the best peaches in western PA at Pittsburgh-area farmer’s markets. July-Aug./early Sept. Must provide own pick-up truck & proof of insurance. Mileage reimbursed. Call Amy at 412-731-1162 or e-mail WANTED — semi truck load of chemical-free straw and locust fence posts. Contact Raymond Fisher 818-349-5594. WANTED — Pittsburgh beekeeper looking to lease/use 5 acre property or more for hives. Additional benefits include pollination and free honey in the fall.Would work best within 20 miles of Pittsburgh. Bruce at or 412-646-1775. FARM TO RENT — Experienced farm family look-

ing for farm to rent, rent with option to own or partnership opportunity. Ideally, barn should hold 50-60 milking cows, additional heifer barn & 100-200 useable acres. Contact Kathryn Dill,, 315-858-9732. LAND WANTED — 2-5 acres for sustainable small-scale farming within 50m radius of Center City Philadelphia. Contact Amanda at or 215-848-0747. WANTED — HAY, Timothy / grass mix hay in the small square bale size. Need good quality hay that is fit to feed (not mulch hay, please.) Does not have to be organic. 724-744-3345, 724-5526972, or 412-558-0252. WANTED — Established specialty vegetable grower in central PA seeking interested parties for a change in ownership. Includes 9 greenhouses & acreage for field growing of specialty vegetables. Established customer base of upscale restaurants is established & access to Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington DC for market expansion. Call 717-957-3479.
Note to our readers: — Due to space constraints with the newsletter, we sometimes are not able to print all of our classified listings in full detail. For a complete list, visit our website at and click on the “Opportunities” section. If you do not have Internet access, contact Michele Gauger at 814-349-9856 and we can send a list to you. Also visit our Intern Board for up-to-date listings of internships offered by our PASA member farms and businesses.

FARM WANTED — Couple searching for 50-115 acres in southwest, west, or central PA. Have contract and approved financing will travel. Contact Peter & Samantha WANTED — I am looking for 4-7 couples interested in buying some land for farming. I found a large tract of land about 15 miles outside of State College. My goal is to have each couple run a small organic farm on this property. Contact Liam at, or 814-574-2273. WANTED — 1 acre, preferably flat in southeastern PA. We will build a small greenhouse, share the rest of the land for organic vegetable garden. Email or call 484-384-2487.




Sept 1–2 Haymaking with Horses & Mules Workshop, Northland Sheep Dairy in central NY. Equipment demonstrations, hands-on opportunities. How to graze your working horses & mules. $150 includes farm dinner on Sat. Limited to 15 participants. Contact Donn Hewes,, or call 607-849-4442. Sept 1–8 Valleys of the Susquehanna, Local Foods Week—Williamsport, contact Mandy Burbage, 570-524-4491. Sept 2 Penn’s Valley Crickfest Local Foods Celebration, Coburn Park, Coburn (Centre Co.) Sept 6 Science-Based Organic Grape Production, Penn State Grape Center, Erie Co. 103pm. Cost $15 all participants. *

Biodynamics begins at the Pfeiffer Center, Chestnut Ridge, NY. An introduction to biodynamics, a scientific and spiritual approach to farming and gardening, with Mac Mead, Hugh Williams, Steffen Schneider, Gunther Hauk and others. Nine weekend workshops. The Pfeiffer Center, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977, 845-352-5020 x20,, Sept 16–22 PASA Western Region, Local Foods Week. Stay tuned for more details or contact the Western Region office, 412-697-0411. Sept 22–23 Mother Earth Harvest Fair, Spoutwood Farm, Glen Rock, PA. Contact 717-2356610, Sept 22–23 Renewable Energy Festival, Kempton PA. Sponsored by MAREA. Farmers’ market stands open to PASA members. Contact Michele Gauger at PASA, 814-349-9856, Sept 22 Health by Choice Fall Festival at New Enterprise, PA, 9–5pm. Lots of fun — animals, free workshops, food, 25% off everything in store. Visit our website at, 814-766-2273.
PASA FIELD DAY Sept 27 Parasite Control in Small Ruminants with Dr. David Pugh, Centre County Visitor’s Bureau. 9–12pm. Cost $10 PASA members, $15 all others. * PASA FIELD DAY Sept 28 Bio-Diesel & Compost on the Farm, Briar Patch Organic Farms, Union Co. 15:30pm. Cost $10 PASA members, $15 nonmembers. *

Days, sponsored by Earthwise Farm and Forest, Fair Grounds in Tunbridge,VT. For more information, or to reserve exhibit space, contact; Carl Russell or Lisa McCrory, Earthwise Farm & Forest, 802-234-5524, Email:

PASA FIELD DAY Oct 3 The Nuts & Bolts of Organizing & Packing a Choice CSA, Red Earth Farm, Schuylkill Co. 1–5pm. Cost $20 PASA members, $30 non-members. To register visit or call 814-349-9856 x7. PASA FIELD DAY Oct 8 New & Beginning Farmers: Small Group Tour with the Nordells, Beech Grove Farm, Lycoming Co. 9-4pm. Cost $15 all participants. *

Sept 8–14 Valleys of the Susquehanna, Local Foods Week—Lewisburg, contact Mandy Burbage, 570-524-4491. Sept 8–15 SouthCentral Region, Local Foods Week, contact Susan Richards, 717-948-6633. Sept 14 PASA Harvest Celebration Dinner, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, Hilton Harrisburg. Stay tuned for details or contact Lauren Smith at PASA, 814-349-9856 or Sept 15 Urban Farming, Greensgrow, Philadelphia Co. 11-3pm. Cost $15 PASA members, $25 non-members. *

Oct 8 PASA South Central Region, Harvest Potluck at Brumbaugh Family Farm, Bedford PA. Tour the farm at 3pm, potluck at 5:30pm. Directions & more information to come.
PASA FIELD DAY Oct 13 IPM: Emphasis on Biocontrols, Entomology Lab at Penn State, Centre Co., 10-3pm.*

February 2008
Feb 7–9 PASA’s 17th annual Farming for the Future Conference, Penn Stater Conference Center, State College, PA. * Field Day Registration

Sept 15 One-Year Part-Time Practical Training in

Sept 29 & 30 Northeast Animal-Power Field

To register for any Field Day event, visit www. or call 814-349-9856 ext. 7.



About Buy Fresh, Buy Local
The Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign and logo are part of a nationwide initiative developed by FoodRoutes Network to promote wholesome, locally grown and processed farm products. PASA is proud to be the statewide coordinator for the Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign, working to improve and strengthen marketing opportunities for farmers and enhance community awareness about the importance of local and sustainable agriculture. Buying local strengthens regional economies by keeping dollars in the community with people producing our food. Look for regional Buy Fresh, Buy Local events and locate farmers by visiting

Celebrate Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Bounty!
Fall Harvest Celebration Dinner Planning Underway
Looking for a wonderful way to introduce PASA to a new community and celebrate PASA producer offerings, while raising money for PASA’s Annual Fund? Look no further than PASA’s two fundraising dinners coming up in September. The Harvest Celebration Dinners are a lavish array of seasonal fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses, to be prepared to perfection in a huge variety of dishes. It all promises to be fantastic, featuring the best our Pennsylvania farms have to offer! More details will follow to PASA members and be posted on our website,, but be sure to save the date now!

PASA Harvest Celebration Dinner Friday, September 14 Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts & the Hilton Harrisburg Major Sponsors: Glasbern Inn & Lady Moon Farms For details contact: Lauren Smith at PASA, 814-349-9856 or

PASA Harvest Celebration Dinner Friday, September 21 Carnegie Science Center Pittsburgh, PA Major Sponsor: Parkhurst Dining Services For details contact: Julie Speicher at PASA, 412-697-0411 or


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PASA’s annual Farming for the Future conference has become one of the bestknown ag conferences in the country. The 2007 conference attracted 1,730 participants from 33 states and 4 countries. The 2008 event will be held February 7–9 in State College, PA.

visit www.p asafarming.o or call 814-3 rg 49-9856
Membership — Join PASA today!
PASA is a network of people who care, since we all have a role in strengthening ties between family farmers and concerned consumers. We all have a role in assuring the health of our regional food supply.

Check Out PASA’s Prog To learn mo rams re

Consumer Interests
Public Policy
PASA is proud to say that we have a growing influence within the agricultural community and continue to represent the interests of our members at both the state and federal levels. But the voices of our members themselves are the real strength of our policy programs, and we make every effort to give them opportunities to be heard on issues that matter.

us all, and Food is the common thread linking reach ’s newest programs are designed to PASA ately make the difference in the eaters who ultim ate a sustaining our farms. We hope to educ the positive impact of buying wider audience on food safety locally produced goods for health, lopment factors. and economic deve

Regional Marketing
PASA’s Regional Marketing Programs strengthen marketing opportunities for farmers and increase consumer awareness about the importance of local, sustainable farms. PASA currently has a Western regional office located in Pittsburgh and will be opening a Southeast regional office this fall.

Farm-Base d Educationworkshops demonstrate susta inable farming methods )

PASA’s Farm-Based Education (FBE) component, which other. FBE also includes a research and allow farm ers to learn from each ge of Ag Sciences. Penn State University Colle is a partnership between PASA and the

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
PO Box 419 • Millheim, PA 16854-0419

Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID State College, PA Permit No. 213