Ramble On

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Catching up with Page County Grown

(Writing from Texas this week)

Next week, Page County Grown and the Northern Shenandoah office of the VIrginia Extension Service will host a session called "Cultivating Comparative Advantages for Agriculture and Farm-based Entreprenuership in the 21st Century."  The session will take place at the chamber offices on March 28 - next Wednesday - at 6:00 p.m.  Register by noon on March 26!

I'm sorry I'm going to miss this session, but it looks like it would be worthwhile for anybody that has an interest in our local agriculture scene.  There will be two speakers from Lancaster County, PA that will discuss on two very different approaches to farm entreprenuership.

The first is George Hurst, who owns and operates Oregon Dairy Farm in Lancaster County.  The link to their site is http://www.oregondairy.com/index.php.  There is a great history of the farm and it's a good read to see how the enterprise has grown from it's beginnings as a humber dairy. 

Now a perusal of that site will show you information about their farm tours and the array of farm goods that are offered there, but it doesn't cover some other interesting features of their operation:  innovations in manure handling - this is 500-head operation, after all, including anaerobic digestion, methane recovery, and composting. 

I could go on and on about these topics, you know, but I'll leave it at this: this kind of proactive environmental approach is worth having a look at, since these technologies are only going to become more and more important to farming on this kind of large scale.  As they work their way into the mainstream they will also grow more accessible to local farms and smaller operations.

The second speaker is Scott Sheely, who is the director of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board.  Scott is going to talk about forming partnerships between agriculture and farming and other industries, such as tourism and conservation.  This talk is right on the mark for Page County Grown, and it will include a discussion about farm-land entreprenuership and protection.

Mr. Sheely also worked as the founder of Lancaster Prospers, which was designed as an entity to create the kinds of alliances he will speak about.  There is a plan on their website and other useful background at http://www.lancasterprospers.com/.

As always, you can find out more about Page County Grown at the website, http://pagecountygrown.com/ , where the opening page will include more information about this event!

1 comment:

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