LUTHERSBURG — The Clearfield County Farm Bureau gathered Sunday for its 44th annual meeting to appoint new board members, recommend new bylaws and hear yearly activity reports.
Instead of a dinner, members held an ice cream social for approximately 50 people at the Brady Township Community Center, Luthersburg. The social was originally scheduled to be held outdoors at the center’s pavilion, but had to be moved inside because of rainy weather.
Those attending were welcomed by President Bill Clouser.
Among the business conducted was the appointment of two members to join the board of directors. Chris Everett was chosen for his third term on the board and Curtis Chambers was elected to his first term on the board. They join Steve Blackburn, Sam Carr, Clouser, Reuben Hicks and Mike Kunsman. Members may not serve more than three three-year consecutive terms.
Outgoing board member Mike Kennis Jr. was thanked for his service to the board. Kennis Jr. has served three consecutive terms for a total of nine years.
The membership also gave authorization to the CCFB board to choose two delegates to the upcoming state convention. The 2020 convention, Nov. 16-19, is being held virtually.
Members approved three proposed resolutions that will be submitted to the state and national farm bureaus for consideration and possible adoption during policy consideration at upcoming conventions.
Two are state resolutions. The first is “We recommend Pennsylvania Farm Bureau recognize all county delegates to its annual meeting equally and elimination that either the county president or vice president be seated on the delegate floor to retain all county votes.”
The second is “We recommend a limit be placed on the governor’s declaration powers to 30 days. The governor would then need the concurrence of the legislature to continue.”
The resolution that will be recommended to the American Farm Bureau Federation states, ”We recommend the federal Milk Marketing order be changed to eliminate the different classes of milk and the producer be paid on one price based on the national average of the cost of production.”
PFB’s Women’s Leadership Committee Member Mary Snyder reported on the 2020 Farmer’s Care event. The event is a drive to collect non-perishable foods and financial donations for local food pantries. She said normally CCFB works with Central Pennsylvania Community Action to distribute the items collected, choosing a pantry that has the greatest need, but this year, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Clearfield County Farm Bureau split what was collected between the Grampian and Westover food pantries.
She also reported the 2019 Farmtastic Book program placed 14 books into local schools and libraries; however next year, because of COVID-19, the program is unable to be held because of restrictions in various school’s health and safety plans.
Snyder congratulated local youth Maddie and Eli Wisor, who attend Curwensville Area School District, for being the local winners of the committee’s safety coloring contest. She also reported on changes for the 2021 contest.
Snyder, who is nearing the end of her third consecutive term on the committee, was thanked by Clouser for her willingness to serve on the committee and was given a round of applause by those attending.
Clouser reported 2020 had been a difficult year because of the pandemic restrictions.
“Traditionally Clearfield County Farm Bureau sponsors a number of meetings and programs during the year. Many of those had to be canceled,” he explained.
He elaborated on the events that were able to go on, including the Farmer’s Care program and the annual legislative farm tour that was held at Pennsylvania Grain Processing, Clearfield.
“PGP had a very good program and it was well-attended by local legislators,” Clouser said.
PFB Regional Organization Director Joe Diamond agreed with Clouser.
“This has been a challenging, exciting and nerve wracking year –all at the same time. I want to give the Clearfield County Farm Bureau board credit. They really stepped up and allowed the projects Farm Bureau works on to continue. The board has stepped up and maintained great relations at the county, state and national levels.”
Diamond spoke about the shutdowns and restrictions associated with COVID-19 bringing to the forefront problems with broadband access, especially in rural areas of Pennsylvania, creating problems with working online for school students and those who need the capability to operate their businesses.
He reported there was recently a bill passed that would provide funding for companies to encourage them to install cables in the rural areas of the commonwealth and improve internet access and capabilities.
“The state found out there was a problem and it was affecting many people, and the legislature stepped up and addressed the problem,” Diamond said.
Also elaborated on by Diamond is legislation to provide farmers who utilize their land for agribusiness opportunities additional liability coverage and work to develop a pilot mental health program for farmers with the assistance of UPMC.
Also participating in the event was the 2020 Clearfield County Fair Queen Sarah Swope who conducted the pledge to the American flag, Young Agriculture Professionals Organization Representative Simon Itle and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau District 12 Board Member Tommy Nagle.