Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, April 24, 1993, Image 28
A2B-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, April 24, 1993 Paul Witter Is Named State Young Farmer Winner BETH MILLER Franklin Co. Correspondent SHIPPENSBURG (Franklin 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 membership. The award was given to Witter for his talent at farming as well as his involvement in his community. 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 more profitable. 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 MIDDLETOWN (Dauphin 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 gling people. “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 farming. 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 University Extension. 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 establish. 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 IK x iJ w 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 Studies. Romania, Ken Bylcr, a Lancaster County coordinator of the project, said that the project was not about the fact that people were doing anything special. 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 fellow mankind. “This is about glorifying God,” he said, “not about glorifying man,” Bylcr said.