Newspaper Page Text
—Uncaster Firming Saturday, Autust 10, 1974
by: Sally Bair
Farm Feature Writer
“People everywhere are basically very nice,” ac
cording to Rusty Clark, Extension Agent for Oxford
County, Maine. He was in Lancaster last week with a
group of 23 4-H’ers from his County, and he has par
ticipated in eight inter-state exchanges so he’s in a
position to know.
The group arrived last Monday and left early Sunday,
and filled every minute in between getting to know their
host 4-H families and the county better.
Oxford County, Maine has a lot of agriculture, but it also
has a lot of industry, Clark said, as he talked about the
county in the dining room of the Lewis Bixler’s, Marietta
RDI, who were hosting him for the week. “Most of the
indukry is wood related - pulp and paper,” he said. The
state is, after all, 90 per cent wooded.
Maine is larger in geographical size than Pennsylvania,
but it has fewer people, according to Clark, The county is
located in southwestern Maine, and borders on New
Hampshire and Canada. There are over 1,000 4-H’ers in
In agriculture, there are some specialized dairy and
poultry operations and a few general farms which have a
variety of animals. Some farms have as few as one or two
cows, Clark said and some have several hundred. He puts
himself in the small farm category, living on a 128 acre
farm on which he raises Jersey cows, sheep, chickens,
geese, rabbits, and “alittle bit of everything.” He also has
six children who help are for the assortment of animals.
One thing Oxford County has in common with Lancaster
County is that tourism is a major industry. Most of the
tourism centers around nature, but there are lots of motel
for those who find camping a bit too rugged.
When asked what the biggest difference was between
Oxford County and here, Clark answered emphatically,
“Com. There’s a lot more com grown here.” He implied
that everywhere he turned he saw field upon field of com.
Something that is “very much different” according to
Clark is the architecture. He was awed by the large stone
farm houses which are found here, and said that most of
the homes m Maine are constructed of wood. But the
biggest difference among homes is that older farm homes
in Maine are constructed with the bams and out-buildings
Just to show want she’s learned while she is here,
Cindy Robinson helps Pam feed calves.
Maine Exchange 4-Hers Visit Lancaster County
Many ideas are exchanged over the dining room
table. From left: Mrs. Lewis Bixler, Mrs. Helen
attached to the house. As he put it, “There may be a
pantry, woodshed, workshop and then a barn or stable.”
The purpose, of course, was as protection against the
severe winter, so there was alwasy easy access to all the
He said such constrction is no longer found, because of
the difficulty in obtaining insurance.
Another big difference is in the style of barns. In Maine,
according to Clark, old barns are mostly two-story and
wooden, although new bams are usually steel and pole,
one story buildings. He added that bank bams are
something new to him.
Cindy Robinson, 13, was a guest of Pam Wivell,
Columbia RDI, and she talked enthusiastically about the
exchange, saying, “I think exchanges are worthwhile to
help to get to know the differences between the states.”
Pam agreed that it’s a great was ”to get to know the
people from another state and to see how their life is
Mrs. Bixler, who was hosting Clark, said, “I thoroughly
enjoy it. I think it’s wonderful.”
Pam’s mother, Mrs. Helen Wivell, said, “I feel 4-H has
hidden values which the young people recognize as they
get older. It teaches them a lot about getting along with
Cindy talked about some of the projects she has as a 4-
H’er in Maine - some were familiar ones, but some were
different. She has belonged to a community club, which
meets primarily m the winter, for two years. One project
she has is fat lambs, which she will raise to be at least 65
pounds, and they will be sold at round-up. She said she has
already told her father not to plan to eat any of her lamb!
She also has had sewing, and a slightly different
project she has is raising guinea pigs. She said she has six,
and explained that you show a guinea pig by holding it m
your hand for the judge to examine it. What does a judge
look for? Cindy said, “It should look good and be gentle
and not bite.” Other projects Cindy has are wildlife, one
aspect of which is to feed the birds, and wild flowers,
which consists of identifying and drying flowers.
For those who don’t have room for an animal or in
clination for something more active, Cindy also has a
reading for a project. She explaind that those who enroll
read books and write a review of them. She has also taken
rug braiding and photography.
Cindy is actually a transplanted Pennsylvanian, having
lived in Doylestown until three years ago. Her mother was
from Maine originally, and so the family decided to move
there. Her father works in a woolen mill. Cindy says, “It’s
Wivell, Pam Wivell, Cindy Robinson and Rusty
pretty up there.” The only disagreeable aspect of being
here to visit is the weather. According to Cindy, “It’s too
While visiting with Pam, Cindy is learning about
Lancaster County farming and 4-H. She says she never
knew what a capon was, which Pam has as a 4-H project.
Pam has been a 4-H’er for five years, as a member of the
Elizabethtown-Donega Community Club, and she just
completed her first year as a member of the Lancaster
County Holstein Club.
Cindy explained that the 4-H members who came to
Lancaster had to help raise money for the trip. They had a
clam bake supper where all those who wanted to came
helped wait on tables. They also put out a special
Cindy and Clark agreed that the people at home eat a lot
of seafood since they are so close to the shore. Cindy
learned to make Lancaster County shoo-fly pie, under the
watchful eye of Mrs. Wivell. Clark’s comment about the
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Dan Dolloff goes along for the ride with his host,