Newspaper Page Text
AKRanenter Fanning, Saturday, September 12, 1998
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Political Candidate Confuses
Family Farming Issues
Perhaps because of Gov. Tom Ridge’s popularity, not many peo
ple even discuss that there is an election this year, or that there are
contenders for his job.
But there are, and watch out. Some of the distorted muck that has
been raised lately by at least one of his want-to-be contenders is
doing a 'great disservice to all of agriculture.
For those within the production agricultural community, espe
cially animal agriculture, the ongoing internal debate of what
defines a “family farm” versus a “corporate farm” has become an
issue for external debate, and those debating it haven’t a clue what
they are talking about.
Recently a want-to-be gubernatorial candidate mailed out a pack
age of information soliciting support from “family farmers.” The
package included an article written by the candidate that contained
ridiculous statements and plenty of misstatements about the hog
industry and manure management.
Apparently, the candidate, or the campaign handlers and consul
tants, considered that there is a groundswell of opposition by rank
and-file livestock producers to contract production agriculture, or
“integrated” agriculture, and that these people could be convinced
that Gov. Tom Ridge and his Administration are bad guys attempt
ing to help destroy the “family farm."
A number of farmers who received the mailing however, consid
ered the anti-integrated swine industry political campaign literature
a joke, especially those who contract-raise poultry.
The outrageousness of the mailing apparently even caused some
of the farmers to get together in opposition to that candidate.
But the real issue of concern is the agricultural community’s lack
of control over who gets to serve as its spokesperson.
This candidate in no way speaks for the agricultural community
on this or any other issue. But the non-farmers don’t know that.
The non-farmers who are new to the issue or have little accurate
information can and probably will perpetuate the candidate’s mis
leading statements that “family farmers” don’t want contract pro
duction to exist in this state.
Perhaps it is time that an accurate definition of a “family farm” is
forwarded to the general public.
As a suggestion, we offer that a “family farm” is any farming
operation that supports a family, whether it be raising mink, cows,
sheep, goats, fish, rabbits, beef, or horticultural products.
If an agricultural operation can keep a family together, if it helps
them to be strong and healthy, provides them with the opportunity to
live and work together as a family, and to understand and feel the
interaction between themselves and Creation, then it is a family
No matter for what office the political candidate seeks.
Lancaster Farmland Trust Bth
Annual Membership Picnic,
Leola, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Bradford County Youth Field Day,
Mt. Pisgah State Park, 9 a.m.-3
Honey Harvest Festival, Hashaw
ha Environmental Center,
Equine Trivial Pursuit, Green
Lane Reservoir Pike, 9 a.m.
Mason-Dixon Red and White
Dairy Cattle Association Picnic
and Field Day, farm of Paul and
Lucinda Moyer, Bemville, 1
Green Township Community Fair,
Cookport, thru Sept. 19.
Poultry Management and Health
Seminar, Kreider’s Restaurant,
Beef Producers Meeting, Country
Cupboard Restaurant, Lcwis-
* Farm Calendar❖
burg, 5:30 p.m., and Byerly
Brothers Meats, West Milton, 7
Albion Area Fair, Albion, thru
Sinking Valley Fair, Skelp, thru
Denver Fair, Denver, thru Sept 19.
Lancaster County Honey Produc
ers Meeting, Lancaster County
Central Park, 7 p.m.
New-Generation Coalitions for
Value-Added Products and
Marketing Opportunties, Mon
tour DeLong Fairgrounds,
Washingtonville, 7:30 p.m.-9
Penn Jersey Pasture Management
Meeting, Bonny Dell Farms,
Anne Arundel County Fair, Anne
Arundel Fairgrounds, Crowns
villc, thru Sept. 20.
Berlin Brothersvalley Community
To Prepare For
Small Grain Seeding
According to Robert Anderson,
Lancaster County extension
agronomy agent, most of the man
agement decisions that affect yield
on winter grain crops need to be
mede before the crop is planted.
These key management factois,
often referred to as yield boosters,
include site selection, soil fertility,
seed bed preparation, planting,
variety selection, planting date,
and seeding rate.
Variety selection is perhaps the
most cost-effective way to control
diseases. Selection of high yield
ing varieties which are resistant to
common diseases will go a long
way in maximizing yields.
Penn State Agronomy Depart
ment many small grain
varieties each year and publishes a
report on disease resistance and
overall yield potential.
Planting date is a critical aspect
of winter grain management.
Seeding too early increases the
potential for many diseases. Seed
ing too late will have plants too
small to survive the winter. Penn
State Agronomy Guide has sug
gested seeding dates for areas of
To Look At Soils
For Small Grains
Site selection is important in
two ways for successful winter
Robert Anderson, Lancaster
County extension agronomy
agent, reminds us winter grains do
not like wet woils. Under wet soil
condictions, small grain crops ex
perience excessive winter kill, es
Also, small grains should not be
planted in the same field for two
consecutive years because of dis
ease control. Wheat when planted
two years in the same location of-
Fair, Berlin, thru Sept. 19.
Southern Lancaster County Fair,
Quanyville, thru Sept. 18.
Penn Jersey Pasture Management
Meeting, Willow Brook Farms,
Berks County Grazing Walk, Dou
ble G Farm, Barb and Kevin
Gorski, Bcmville, 6:20 p.m.
Charles County Fair, Charles
County Fairgrounds, La Plata,
thru Sept. 20.
North East Community Fair, North
East, thru Sept. 19.
Oley Valley Community Fair,
Oley, thru Sept. 19.
New-Generation Coalitions For
Value-Added Products and
Gregg Township Fire Hall,
Allenwood, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Rural Youth of Lancaster County
Picnic, Neffsvillc Community
Eastern State Exposition, West
Spring Geld, Mass., thru Oct 4.
(Turn to Pafle A 35)
ten become infected by the disease
“take-all.” The name is very ap
propriate for the severity of this
Soil fertility is another area
which needs attention. Soil pH
should be between 6.0 and 7.0.
Wheat will tolerate the lower pH
but barley does much better at a
pH of 7.0.
Winter grains also experience
significant levels of winter kill if
the phoshorous levels arc low.
Potassium levels should be in the
optimum range. A soil test taken
before planting will allow soil fer
tility problems to be addressed be
Nitrogen should be applied in
the spring following planting. If
the field receives tegular applica
tions of livestock manure, addi
tional nitrogen may not be needed
and may increase the amount of
To Adjust Cows
to Cool Weather
Glenn Shirk, Lancaster County
FREEDOM FOR ALL?
Exodus 2:23-25; 5:1-2; 11:1-8;
12:29-32; 15:1,2, 19-21
In the 19605, when many of our
citizens were engaged in the strug
gle to realize the American dream
of “liberty and justice for all,” I
well remember those who could
not imagine why Christians would
become involved in what they re
garded as “a secular matter.” “Just
preach the gospel,” I was admon
ished, “and leave civil rights and
social justice to others!”
A decade or so later, when in
various Central and South Ameri
can countries, Christians, Protest
ant and Roman Catholic, joined
with the oppressed in working and
sometimes fighting for freedom. I
heard much the same arguments.
Quite free to speak his opinion
without fear, one man said, “You
don Thavetobefreetobea Chris
True, one can be in some kind
of bondage and still be a follower
of Jesus. Slaves, convicts and pri
soners of all kinds have found
Christ in their bondage and served
mm well. But, if one is a Chris
tian, the desire for freedom bums
ever more brightly and Christian
discipleship cannot help but bring
us into eventual conflict with to
talitarian authority. Often it is not
enough to “give unto Caesar” the
things that are Caesar’s, for they
are usually not content unless they
can also possess what belongs to
JUST FOR SOME
Too many Americans believe in
“liberty and justice,” not “for all,
but just for some.” In Robert Na
than’s book. The Enchanted Voy
age, he writes: “Liberty, he
thought you’ve got to be willing
to give it to others if you want to
have it yourself.” None of us are
ever truly free if we deny it to
Contrary to what many think, I
believe “freedom for all” is a spir
itual matter. We cannot possibly
understand the Old Testament if
we think the quest of freedom has
little or nothing to do with God. Its
pivotal event was and is the Exo
extension dairy agent, reminds us
as we approach the end of sum
mer, temperatures can change
greatly and rapidly. Many bams
arc now tunnel ventilated. These
baAs have a lot of fans that are
designed to move and exchange a
lot of air very rapidly.
This works great when temper
atures are high. However, when
temperatures drop and we fail to
reduce the number of fans run
ning, we can chill cows and set
them up fra- respiratory problems
such as pneumonia as well as pre
disposing them to other ailments.
When temperatures drop we
need to reduce the number of fans
that arc running. Do not turn off
all the fans or close up the build
ing tightly. We still need to
exchange air but at a reduced rate.
This allows us to keep the air fresh
and the cows healthy.
Feather Proofs Footnote: “We
cannot solve today’s problems
with the same level of thinking
that created them.”
dus. “And the people of Israel
groaned under their bondage, and
cried out for help ... And God
heard their groaning” (3:23,24a).
Apparently they did not think that
their oppression was not a matter
for God. Neither did God.
He not only listened to their |
cries, he answered their cries with 1
a message for the Pharaoh. (Pha- '
raoh may not have been an evil
man perse, just a “practical politi- '
dan” who was concerned about
the economy!) “Thus says the I
Lord, the God of Israel,” says I
Moses and Aaron, “Let my people j
go ...” (5:1). The denial of free- '
dom is contrary to the will of God '■
and “Let my people go” has been j
the rallying cry of the oppressed*,]
through the centuries. The Pass- ]
over is still at the heart of the
ish faith and Jesus’ celebration ofl
the Passover with his disciples is j
the central sacrament for Christa
tians. How, then, can we say that]
freedom is not a spiritual matter? i
CONTRARY OPINION J
Sometimes we assume that
freedom is only for the “worthy”
(usually those who believe as we
do). John Stuart Mill, one of free
dom’s greatest prophets, said "If \
all mankind minus one were of one .
opinion, and only one person were
of the contrary opinion, mankind
should be no more justified in si
lencing that one person, than he, if
he had the power, would be justi - j
fied in silencing mankind." If we ;
truly are committed to liberty and
we trust in God, why are we so
afraid of opinions contrary to'
ours? Might it be that we do not
really trust in God?”
God acted in history to obtain
the liberty of his people. After
their escape from the Egyptians,
they knew that it was because of
God that they were now free and
they gave him the thanks and
praise: “I will sing to the Lord, for
he has triumphed gloriously . ■ •
The Lord is my strength and my
song, and he has become my sal
vation ... (15:2). '
If we examine the democratic
ideal upon which our revolution
was founded, we will find undis
guised the God who said “Let my
Published Every Saturday
Ephrata Review Building
1 E. Main St.
Ephrata, PA 17522
Lancaster Farming, Inc.
A Slemman Enterprise
William J. Burgess General Manager
Everett R. Newswanger Managing Hditor
Ccpynght 1996 by Lancaster F^irvng