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A2B-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, April 24, 1993
Paul Witter Is Named State Young Farmer Winner
Franklin Co. Correspondent
Co.) Paul Witter is probably
one of the most busy farmers
around this area.
He fills his time working on two
farms, which would be enough to
tire anyone out But then, Witter
takes on a variety of projects to
help his local community.
Still, no matter how busy he
gets, Witter always keeps one phi
losophy in mind. “I try to keep it
simple,” he said.
His philosophy must work
because Witter has been chosen as
the state winner of the Young Far
mer Award, given by the state
Young Farmers Association in the
Over-30 Division of its
The award was given to Witter
for his talent at farming as well as
his involvement in his
According to the Y.F. Associa
tion, Witter deserves the award
because he won it the hard way,
by working for it in the bam and in
the fields and by trying new
methods to make his farming
Witter owns two farms of 160
acres and farms a total of 260
acres. He grows wheat, com, bar
ley, alfalfa and soy beans.
One of the farms he bought
from his grandfather, who still
lives on the land. His grandfather
VERNON ACHENBACH JR.
Lancaster Farming Staff
Co.) One of the largest ship
ments of cattle possible out of the
Middletown airport look place
Thursday afternoon as about 100
dairy cattle heifers were loaded
onto a DCS for transport to Roma
nia, as part of humanitarian aid by
Christian Aid Ministries.
The dairy cattle are headed for a
model farm that was constructed in
Romania by the group as an exam
ple of how those people, trying to
recover from the loss of education
and independence imposed by the
former Soviet Union, can survive
and build a stable economy.
According to Donald Evans,
who is assistant dean of the Penn
From the left, Chuck Russow, a USDA veterinarian, dis
cusses handling paperwork with David Marshal, a
Coatesville-area vet going along with the 100 dairy cattle
heifers being sent to Romania, Don Evans, from Penn State
Extension, and Maher Rlzk, also a USDA veterinarian. Rus
sow has worked with the Holstein Association for more
than 11 years in making International shipments of cattle
out of the Middletown facility and was lending his expertise.
bought that farm in Southampton
Township in the 19305.
Witter knew what he was doing
right from the start because he was
bom and raised on a farm. His
father still is in farming as well.
Witter struck out on his own in
farming in 1981. He bought his
grandfather’s farm in 1988. He
also has four brothers and all of
them are involved in farming
either full or part time.
Witter himself has 55 milk
cows milk grade and registered
animals of all breeds. He said he
doesn’t raise his own heifers
that is part of his “keep it simple”
philosophy. Also, he said, that
method saves money.
“I buy my replacement cows
when the market is right,” he said.
Witter said he raises a cash crop
of wheat and com. He said he sells
some hay and straw also.
Some of the feed he gives his
animals is liquid whey, a bypro
duct of the cheese making process
at the nearby Raskas cheese plant
in Shippensburg. Raskas provides
the whey to local farmers on sort
of a lottery basis. Witter said he
was quick to become one of the
people on that list.
As a sideline of sorts. Witter
raises hogs over the winter.
However, farming only takes
up part of Witter’s busy life.
He is a regular helper at the
always busy Shippensburg Fair.
He played an important role in
Heifers To Romania:
State University College of Agri
cultural Sciences and assistant
director of the PSU Cooperative
Extension, the project is about
more than sending cattle to strug
“It’s not only sending cattle and
information,” he said. “We’re
exporting the concept of family
farming in Pennsylvania.”
The project was part of the
ongoing efforts of the Christian
Aid Ministries, based out of Ber
lin, Ohio, according to Evans. He
explained that the ministries,
which is largely supported by
Amish and Mennonile people in
the area, had started helping out
the Romanians several years ago
and that the donated heifers are
headed toward the farm where Ben
Paul Witter climbs aboard his tractor for a day of work on his farm.
getting a manure handling ordi- runs one of the snow plows for his dent from Brazil, Laiz Brito. The
nance passed in Southampton township. girl lives on a ranch in her native
Township. Right now he is run- In addition to all the good land, so she is interested in farm
ning for township supervisor. works he has done locally, Witter ing United States-style
If that isn’t enough. Witter also now has an opportunity to make
has been an agricultural advisor his mark on yet another continent
for students in the Shippensburg South America.
Area School District. His family his wife, Carla,
Witter is busy helping out when and his daughters, Nancy and Pau
the snow falls as well since he la are hosting an exchange stu-
Glorifying God, Not Man
Lapp, of Lancaster County has
been living with his wife and six
children for about a year.
Lapp went over to set up the
model farm and has been working
through interpreters to leach
Romanians about modem family
The farm was built in the fash
ion of a typical Pennsylvania dairy
farm Evans said. And during the
time that the ministries has been
involved, so has the Penn State
Penn State became involved
because it was given a mission by
the federal government to help out
with Poland and developing coun
ties. Evans said it is basically the
extension services which these
other countries are seeking to
Evans said that under the former
government rule in the former
Soviet Union, information was
controlled by the government and
not made available to the rank and
file citizen or laborer.
Evans said while it may seem
ironic, that the fact that a social
program extension service
is considered one of the first prog
rams to help wean the former
socialist Communist Parly ruled
people to independent, free
markel democracy, education is
the key to democracy.
According to Evans, the PSU
Extension Service has been help
ing Poland set up an extension ser
vice for some lime and continues
to do so. He said that the United
States is the only nation in the
world with such a support system.
However, Evans said that Tho
mas Jefferson said that a democra
cy was dependent on an educated
citizenry. “Democracy is very fra
gile and can disappear from gener
ation to generation,” Evans said,
adding that education is the only
way to preserve it.
The Christian Aid Ministries
program is ideal, Evans said, as a
way of actually helping the people
These are part of the hundred dairy cattle heifers which
were donated and shipped to Romania by the Christian Aid
Ministries. Unusual winter-like weather coats the cattle and
men loading cattle.
of the former Soviet Union achieve
a belter life.
Going along to Romania with
the shipment of cattle was Dr.
David Marshal, a Coatesville area
veterinarian who said he got
involved with the project through
some of his clients.
“It was easy to get involved,”
the veterinarian said. “Besides, I
know and like Ben (Lapp). So this
is also a chance for me to visit.”
Marshal said he is going to stay
with the cattle for two weeks and
hand carry shipping documents so
he can be on site in case any of the
paperwork is challanged in
Laiz came to the Witter’s home
in January for a six-month stay as
part of a program run by the
American Institute of Foreign
Ken Bylcr, a Lancaster County
coordinator of the project, said that
the project was not about the fact
that people were doing anything
At least 100 people turned out at
the Middletown farm of the Pen
nsylvania Holstein Association,
which donated use of the facility
for the cause. But Byler said that
members of the ministry did not
want recognition for helping out
“This is about glorifying God,”
he said, “not about glorifying
man,” Bylcr said.