Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, December 08, 1984, Image 12

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    Al2-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, December 8,1984
Non-Farm Students
Study Ag
Penn State
at
UNIVERSITY PARK -
Agriculture is not just for farm
youths anymore. Many students
enrolled in the agriculture
curriculum at the Pennsylvania
State University have not grown up
on farms but plan to seek careers
in the field.
Peter Schafer, of Laureldale,
Berks County, a senior majoring in
dairy production, became in
terested in agriculture when his
seventh grade football coach asked
him to find farm work to build up
his muscles. That summer he
started working on a friend’s dairy
farm. He proudly says that he has
wanted to farm ever since.
At Penn State Schafer was vice
president of Delta Theta Sigma
agriculture fraternity and an
active member of the Dairy
Science Club. He will graduate in
December and return to the farm
he worked on. It is not clear,
however, if a partnership is in the
scene.
“I’m not as fortunate as most
farm kids,” the Berks County
student said. “I don’t have the
same rights birth gives you to the
farm.”
Karen Long, of Akron, a junior in
dairy production, grew up in rural
Lancaster County where
agriculture was all around her. She
spent a lot of time on her uncle’s
dairy farm and was very active in
her high school FFA chapter. She
was on numerous judging teams in
high school and received her
chapter’s chain dairy calf.
“When it came to choosing which
area of agriculture I wanted to
specialize in, I guess you could say
I showed partiality,” Long pointed
out. “I chose dairy because that is
what my uncle had and I really
grew up with.”
She is an active member of the
Penn State Dairy Science Club and
currently is secretary of the 1985
dairy mall promotion committee.
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Long, who is a dean’s list student,
plans to pursue a career in animal
breeding.
“Hopefully, I’ll land a job with a
bull stud,” Long said. “I am
currently being considered for a
summer internship with Select
Sires, Inc.”
Last summer she gained ex
perience as a milk tester for the
Pennsylvania Dairy Herd Im
provement Association. “I really
learned a lot about recordkeeping,
feeding programs, and keeping
milk at its best quality-wise,” she
said.
James Fitzpatrick, of
Doylestown, a freshman in dairy
production, has always wanted to
farm. “I used to see commercials
advertising tractors and dreamed
of someday being a farmer, you
know, like most kids dream of
being a fireman.” ,
Fitzpatrick went to work on his
neighbor’s Jersey farm, where he
started for $1.75 per hour. As he
gained experience his pay in
creased.
“I was green and I didn’t know
how to act around animals. I was
amazed to learn where we bought
feed, how to know where to sell
corn. There is just so much to know
in this business.”
Although just a freshman, he has
taken advantage of the activities
the Penn State Dairy Science Club
offers. He helped with the Ag
Arena dedication ceremony,
Nittany Lion Fall Classic Dairy
Sale, and set up the club’s booth at
Ag Career Days.
He plans to work as a herdsman
on a dairy farm. “I don’t know if I
could ever afford my own farm and
cows today. I enjoy working with
the animals so a herdsman’s job it
is,” the Doylestown student noted.
All three students feel they have
a lot to catch up on, both on the
farm and in the classroom. They
all agree that practical education
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V. Allan Bandel (center foreground), an Extension agronomist at the University of
Maryland, answers questions from farmers during “quiz the experts" session following
last year’s Mid-Atlantic No-Till Conference. Behind him is A. Morris Decker, a fellow
professor of agronomy at the College Park campus. Bandel spoke on nitrogen
placement, and Decker spoke on no-tillage establishment of forage crops. Decker will be
back for this year’s program on Dec. 19 at York. His topic will be "Cover Crops for No-
Till."
doesn’t seem to be as hard to learn
as the theory.
“While most farm boys and girls
know from habit when to plant and
harvest the different crops, I had
to work double time to leam he
dates,” Long said. “Most of my ag
professors take for granted that
the seemingly simple items are
already known by students, so they
have us refer to things back home
rather than explain them
thoroughly.”
As a freshman, Fitzpatrick feels
he has a lot to leam. He’s never
been involved in showing animals
and helping at the Nittany Lion
Fall Classic gave him an op
portunity to find out what is in
volved.
“I helped wash animals for the
club sale and got them ready for
the leadsman,” he said. “Now I’m
really excited about showing a
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dairy animal at the Dairy Ex
position to be held next April. I will
finally get to clip and lead an
animal in a show situation. College
is a great place to learn all these
things because you don’t have so
many different styles to leam. It
also gives you a chance to find a
way to learn to do clipping and
showing on a do-it-yourself basis.”
Schafer and Long feel that
studying agriculture and working
with farm-reared students have
helped them prepare for their
careers.
“We’re learning to work with
other people and have confidence
in what we’re doing. Penn State is
giving us a sound agricultural
education and the experience
we’re receiving is extremely
valuable. The desire to work in the
ag field is stronger now than ever
before,” the two agreed.
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Now is
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(Continued trom Paee A 10)
milk, eggs and meat.
I point this out so that people
working with our farmers un
derstand the needs and cares of
others. We all need to be patient
and understanding and look at the
many good things we have to be
thankful for... our families,
freedom and the ability to come
back after being down. Take tune
to talk with your friends and
neighbors and share the many
good times you’ve had together.
Let’s enjoy the holiday season and
be thankful for all the good things
in life.
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