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Recently I wrote to SPC Elizabeth Seman, who is over fighting in Iraq. Elizabeth was a Susquehanna County Dairy Princess in the 1998-1999 reign and a Susquehanna County 4-H member for ten years. She joined the service on February 28, 2000. Her branch of service is the Army Reserves. She is a 77F Petroleum Supply Specialist, which means she refuels aircraft and ground vehicles working with JP-8 diesel fuel. Her platoon is sixty-one strong and her company is one hundred seventy-eight strong. The earliest her company will return to the U.S. is the first of the year. Her companys name is the 233QMCO (Quarter Master Company). Elizabeth is an E-4 Specialist, currently in Kuwait, Camp Udaiui, having been in Iraq since April 18, 2003.
Twenty-two year old Elizabeth grew up on a dairy farm in Thompson. Elizabeth says, "Yes, growing up on a farm gives you a sense of courage and determination. When work is given or needs doing, you know to get it done. Being a farm kid sure gave me a heads-up on driving, especially handling and backing up large equipment and also being able to adapt to long work hours, all with a strong work ethic and willpower."
Back here in the USA, Elizabeth is the mother of a sixteen-month old daughter, Emily Jade. Elizabeth said the hardest thing was leaving her daughter, even though her parents have her with them. It was one of the hardest things she will ever have to do.
It is very hard seeing how the women and children survive over in Iraq, in such a harsh poverty-stricken country. Many nights she says she cries to sleep, thanking God for where she lives and that she lives in such a safe, clean environment to raise her daughter.
There are two other farm kids from Pennsylvania and two from West Virginia in Elizabeths Platoon.
Sgt. Carl Potter is from Brownsville, PA, Fayette County. His farms name is Potter Farm. Carl is twenty-six years old. Sgt. Potter says that growing up on a farm has brought him a great work ethic. It also helps him to adapt to severe weather changes and long work hours. That hardest thing for him is being away from his friends and family.
Sgt. Alan Cornell is thirty years old, from Cornell Glen Farm, Erie, PA. Alan says that growing up on a farm helps him complete difficult tasks and to not be afraid of hard work. The hardest thing for him is being away from his loving family. He says being a soldier gives him a sense of duty and the opportunity of meeting different people; experiencing their cultures is interesting.
Two other young men from a farm background in Elizabeths platoon include SSG. John Gulledge from Teralata, West Virginia and Sgt. John Sites from Onogo, West Virginia.
Elizabeth says that by seeing and experiencing everything she has while serving our country, she has learned to take the good with the bad and thanks God everyday for where she lives. Knowing her daughter will be safe throughout her life because her Mommy served eases her mind for being in Iraq. Elizabeth says, "I have pride in the uniform, it makes me feel Ive done something important for my county, family and friends."
I would like to thank Elizabeth for writing back to me and helping me let people know about some of the farm kids defending our Country. I wish her and others luck and a safe trip home when they are able to return.
And on that note I would like to end with a quote, "There are two key occupations in this would, the soldier who defends us and the farmer who feeds us." These young men and women have done both.
Susquehanna County Farm Bureau Young Farmer/Rancher Program participated in the "Harvest for All" program, partnering with Americas Second Harvest, the nations largest domestic hunger relief charity.
Pictured (l-r) are: Rev. Debra Vandermark Dailey Hop Bottom United Methodist Charge and Donna Williams President, Susquehanna County Farm Bureau, acting on behalf of Rick Empet, Chairman, Young Farmer/Rancher Program.
Young Farmer/Rancher Chairman Rick Empet knew there was a great need to share food and necessary household supplies with families in our county. This spirit of community compassion is accomplished through food banks and food pantries. Recently, monetary contributions of $100 were presented to Ministry of Christian Service, coordinated by Montrose United Methodist Church; Holy Name of Mary, Montrose; St. Pauls Episcopal Church, Montrose; First Presbyterian Church of Montrose; United Methodist Community Church of Great Bend; the Hop Bottom United Methodist Charge (Hop Bottom, Kingsley and Brooklyn).
Across the lands of our nation, farmers and ranchers produce and harvest the commodities necessary to supply food and fiber for everyone.
Farm Bureau members are happy to share their abundance with our brothers and sisters who have a need.
The Northern Tier Industry Education Consortium (NTIEC) recently held a series of computer classes for area seniors at the Northern Tier Workforce Development Center in Dimock. The NTIEC/AAA Basic Level Computer Class ran for four weeks from October 15 to November 5. Classes were free of charge to students that are 60+.
Pictured (l-r) are class participants: Ruth Johnson, Springville; Louise Walker, Montrose; Mary Novitski, Montrose; Dorothy Wegman, Montrose; Helga Kannenberg, Little Meadows; Juanita Simcox, Susquehanna. Absent from the photo are Don Kannenberg, Harold Wegman and Eugenia Veley.
The NTIEC was founded in 1993 as a school-to-work organization designed to promote career awareness and link high school students to available careers in the region. The role expanded two years ago as the NTIEC took on the role as Community Education Council and is stepping up efforts to provide educational services and links to all members of the community.
Another series of computer classes for seniors will be held in January. For more information, call (570) 278-5038.
The children and grandchildren of Teresa and Darrell Whitney (pictured above on their wedding day, January 2, 1953), celebrated their parents fiftieth wedding anniversary with a family dinner and the gift of a trip to Ireland.
Congratulations, Teresa and Darrell!
Canawacta Lodge No. 360 Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania hosted their thirteenth annual senior citizens Christmas dinner (pictured above) on December 20 at the Methodist Church in Susquehanna. The dinner was prepared and served by the Masons and their wives. Many gift certificates were given out, and Santa Claus was present to pass out gift bags. The dinner and gifts were made possible through donations from members, friends and local businesses. The Masons extend thanks to all who made the occasion possible.
In last-minute negotiations before the Christmas recess, the state passed a budget package that included a small amount of funding restoration for public libraries. Instead of a 50% cut, Pennsylvania public libraries will see a 36.5% funding cut.
"We are glad that a little bit was restored. But from the first budget announcement in March of 2003, we were told that the 50% cut was a mistake that would be fixed. Almost 37% is still a huge cut, and disproportionate to the cuts in other, much larger portions of the state education budget," says Susan Stone, Administrator/Librarian of the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association.
The Board of Directors is still in the process of deciding how to make up the budget shortfall of more than $100,000. The book, video, cassette book, and other materials budget has already been slashed. Dozens of magazine subscriptions have been cancelled. The Facts-on-File online database has been discontinued. Program budgets have been eliminated.
"The outpouring of support from Susquehanna County was phenomenalthousands of signatures, countless emails and letters," says Mrs. Stone. "We are deeply grateful for everyone's help. We wish we could say the struggle was over! Instead we need to both thank our legislators for what they did put back, and respectfully plead with them to make complete restoration a priority for 2005.
"What we are asking right now is for people to pick up postcards at their local library, which can be filled in and mailed to Governor Rendell. Please visit your local library for the postcards. Once you've filled one out, we would like to make a copy to show to the senators and representatives. Additionally, we are starting to make lists of library users who would be willing to visit legislators personally. Some of them have local offices or representatives, but we may also look into arranging trips regionally or to Harrisburg. Please contact us if you are interested."
Events that take place between March 1 and September 30, 2004, are now being accepted for the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau 2004 Spring/Summer Calendar of Events.
Any public event that is sponsored by a community or non-profit organization can be submitted for the upcoming calendar free of charge. The events must take place in the Endless Mountains Region Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties.
All events received by the January 31 deadline will be printed in the calendar of events brochure.
For information or to submit an event, log onto www.endlessmountains.org, or call the bureau at 8365431.
The Dessin Animal Shelter, Honesdale, PA is excited to announce that they have recently received a grant in the amount of $7,500 to be used for spaying and neutering of pets in the community. The granting foundation, who prefers to remain anonymous, provides money to organizations to be used to help defray the cost of altering companion animals.
Vouchers will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning January 10, 2004. A co-payment will be requested for each voucher issued, however no one will be denied a voucher due to their inability to pay.
Besides the obvious reduction in the surplus of puppies and kittens, the benefit to your pets health and life expectancy is the best argument for spaying and neutering.
Here are the facts: problems and potential risks involved with pregnancy and birth are eliminated. Sterilized pets tend to live an average of two to three years longer than unsterilized pets. The likelihood of developing mammary tumors or uterine infections increases the longer a female goes unspayed. A female spayed before sexual maturity (6-9 months of age) has one-seventh the risk of an intact female of developing mammary cancer. Breast cancer can be fatal in about 50 percent of female dogs and 90 percent of female cats. Neutering a male cat or dog by six months of age prevents testicular cancer, prostate disease and hernias. Spaying a female cat or dog helps prevent pyometra (a pus-filled uterus) and breast cancer and having this done before the first heat offers the best protection from these diseases. Treatment of pyometra requires hospitalization, intravenous fluids, antibiotics and spaying. Sterilization reduces the incidence of injury and disease. Many behavioral problems, such as urine marking and roaming can be reduced or eliminated by spaying/neutering.
Aside from being able to enjoy your pet more, they themselves will be spared much anguish and the cost advantages to you are enormous. Now, with financial assistance from Dessin, theres just no excuse not to!
For more info, contact the shelter at (570) 2534037.
Pine Ridge Horse and Pony
The Pine Ridge Horse and Pony Club will begin their clubs activities for this year and everyone is welcome! The first club meeting will be Sunday, February 15, 1 p.m. at Pine Ridge Manor Farm (formerly Double S Acres). At this meeting, we will hand out enrollment forms, pass out books, elect officers, and tour the farm. We plan to have a fun year with mounted and unmounted meetings, shows, and more! Everyone is invited to attend, including therapeutic riders! For directions, please call (570) 663-2703.
News Reporter: Tricia Albrecht
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