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Issue Home October 24, 2007 Site Home

Grants Help Improve Farm Sustainability
Nathan Oleniacz Attends National 4-H Conference
Locals Attend State PASR Convention
PNB Contributes To Local Scholarships
PARSE Update

Grants Help Improve Farm Sustainability

Six farms located in the Meshoppen and Tunkhannock watersheds received funding that provided farmers with assistance to improve or create an intensive, rotational grazing system for their livestock. Practices included high tensile fencing and watering systems. The grant was provided through the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s “Growing Greener” program, and was sponsored by the Susquehanna County Conservation District.

These projects were done in conjunction with CREP’s (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) Riparian Forested Buffer Practice. “The stream protection was the first priority,” said Jennifer Johns, Stream Buffer Specialist, with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “The rest was icing on the cake.” CREP provides cost-share for fencing to exclude livestock from the stream. Native trees and shrubs are planted in the stream corridor, and stream crossings and alternative water supplies are also installed through cost shares. Eight miles of stream banks and 43 acres of wetlands were placed in CREP buffers as part of the project.

Making the conversion from cropping to grazing saves time and money. Letting the cows do the work, while saving on fuel costs for harvesting and spreading manure are just two of the many advantages. Additionally, planting trees along creeks and streams to create a forested area helps to decrease flooding, by slowing waters. Sediment and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus are found in runoff from farmland and contribute to algal blooms and fish kills. Forested buffers reduce the amount of these pollutants that enter streams. Moreover, forested streams can be as much as eight times more effective in removing pollution than unforested streams. Forested streams also provide more and better habitat for aquatic wildlife. Together, conversion to rotational grazing and installing forested buffers create a powerful 1-2 punch for conservation.

Grants like these that work together with programs like CREP are available on a limited basis. If you’re interested, please call or visit your local Farm Service Agency Office. After someone has visited your farm to determine eligibility, be sure to ask about the availability of grazing programs in your area.

The stream buffer practice is also available in areas other than farms, if you have a stream, pond, wetland, etc. that is not forested, chances are it could be eligible for the program. To learn more about the program, sign up for a no-obligation site-visit.

To learn more about CREP, call 1-800-941-CREP or talk to your local Farm Service Agency or Natural Resource Conservation Service.

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Nathan Oleniacz AttendsNational 4-H Conference
Submitted By Michelle Kowalewski, Penn State Cooperative Extension

Nathan Oleniacz of Montrose was one of four 4-H members from Pennsylvania selected to participate in the 53rd National 4-H Dairy Conference held annually in conjunction with the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, September 29 – October 3. This year’s conference brought together 200 4-H members from across the United States and Canada.

Susquehanna County 4-H member Nathan Oleniacz recently attended the National 4-H Dairy Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Pictured with Nate is Checkerboard, a spring calf, owned by the Evergreen Lane Farm, the Tompkins Family.

The four-day experience exposed 4-H members to new dairy science technology and dairy-related careers. Through a combination of workshops, speakers, educational field trips and networking with other dairy-oriented youth, 4-H members gained information to strengthen their futures in the dairy industry. Highlights from the conference include tours of ABS Global, Hoard’s Dairyman office/printing facility and Guernsey Farm, The National Dairy Shrine, Nasco, and Crave Bros. Dairy – a 750-cow dairy operation that operates a cheese factory and generates their own electricity by way of a manure digester. For Oleniacz, the best part of the trip was the opportunity to go to the World Dairy Expo to see numerous top dairy herds from across the country and to watch several national cow shows.

The National 4-H Dairy Conference is sponsored and presented by University of Wisconsin-Extension 4-H Youth Development, Cooperating Friends of 4-H and the Dairy Industry, World Dairy Expo, and the National 4-H Dairy Conference Planning Committee.

Nathan is the son of Donnie and Lori Oleniacz and is a senior at Montrose Area High School. He has been involved in 4-H for four years and is a member of the Born To Show 4-H Dairy Club. He commented, “I’m extremely honored to represent Susquehanna County and Pennsylvania at this national event, and very grateful for the opportunity to see and learn so much about the dairy industry. It was truly an awesome experience, and I hope to attend the World Dairy Expo again next year.” Nathan credits his interest in the dairy industry to his neighbors, Mark and Cindy Tompkins. He has helped on their farm since he was ten years old and has shown cows for them the past four years.

For more information about the 4-H program in Susquehanna County contact the Penn State Cooperative Extension Office in Susquehanna County at 570-278-1158.

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Locals Attend State PASR Convention

On Sunday, October 7, five school retirees from Susquehanna County arrived in Reading for a four-day conference to discuss public education, legislative issues, and the welfare of Pennsylvania’s 150,000 plus public school retirees.

Pictured (l-r) at the PASR annual convention: Susquehanna Chapter Officers Ruth Roman, Gary Parker, Mary Ketterer.

They joined more than 500 of their peers for the annual Convention of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR) at the Sheraton Hotel in Reading. One in four school retirees belong to PASR.

“Retirement doesn’t mean recess for us,” said Mary Ketterer. “Many of our members are busier now than when they were working.” Ketterer joined Barbara Kelly, Joan Peters, Gary Parker, and Ruth Roman at the conference where they listened to speakers regarding politics, public education and much more. The keynote speaker was Edward J. Ryan, United Nations Rep. for AARP, who spoke on “The Power of Retirees to Achieve Positive Change in a World of Opportunity.” They also participated in seminars and discussions ranging from consumer rights and nursing care to legislation.

The information gathered during the four-day event will be used to direct local programs such as the recognition of outstanding public school employees all across the state and the chapter’s community service projects, which are ringing bells for the Salvation Army, donating to the Women’s Resource Center, collecting socks for Socks for Tots and Teens, and this year will begin a project of assisting families of servicemen.

PASR consists of and serves all types of Pennsylvania’s retired public school employees, secretaries, teachers, custodians, administrators, etc. Consisting of more than 41,000 members, PASR is the largest school retiree organization in Pennsylvania and third largest in the nation.

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PNB Contributes To Local Scholarships

For the fifth consecutive year, Peoples National Bank has again made a generous contribution to the Pre-School and K-12 Scholarship Programs administered by The Community Foundation of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties. This year’s contribution of $70,000 will substantially assist The Community Foundation in providing nearly 150 scholarships to students from its two-county service area who are attending 17 schools in four counties, the majority of them at the Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center.

Pictured (l-r) are: Richard Lochen, President & CEO, Peoples National Bank; Peter Quigg, Director of Development, The Community Foundation; Debra Dissinger, Executive Vice President, Peoples National Bank.

Peoples National Bank has by far been the most substantial supporter of these scholarships, with this most recent donation bringing the bank’s total level of funding to $350,000, thus helping The Community Foundation provide scholarships to more than 800 local students in the last five years. Peter Quigg, Director of Development for The Community Foundation states, “Peoples National Bank has provided tremendous support for these scholarships, some of which have had a dramatic impact on the lives of students receiving them. This ongoing assistance illustrates the interest and concern the bank’s directors and administrators have for our local communities, and we appreciate their help very much.” All scholarship awards have been distributed for the current school year, but The Community Foundation plans to administer the scholarships again next year. For more information about Foundation activities, visit

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PARSE Update
By Cynthia Sims, Sec.

The Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees (PARSE) met on October 9 at the South Montrose Community Church.

President Jesse Bacon appointed Alton Arnold to fill the treasurer’s position and Paul Barnum to fill the Bradford County vice president’s position.

Susquehanna Vice President John Benio, who attended the state PARSE meeting in Camp Hill, gave a brief report. He said the issues addressed were a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), membership and election of state officers. A more detailed report will be given at the November meeting.

The next meeting will be held on November 13 at the Zion Lutheran Church, Dushore. All state retirees are invited to attend. To make reservations and/or to learn more about the PARSE organization, contact Susquehanna County Vice President John Benio at 278–2389.

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