March 29,  2019          
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In this issue:  A visit to Cherry Hill, FSA loan increases, May 7th in Blair Co., Mushrooms May 14 in Lehigh, Next Level Sales Philly/Honesdale,  Rent ag equipment in Bedford.
Cherry Hill Farm of Tyrone, PA, hosted students from the Penn State Student Farm on April 6th. Owner Beth Futrick is an Army veteran and one of two PA Agricultural Ombudsmen. The tour, coordinated by the PA Veteran Farming Project, provided the students information on careers in agriculture for veterans and civilian students. Siena Chrisman was the Student Farm coordinator for the event.

At Cherry Hill Farm Beth raises Boer goats for breeding, show and market on 100 acres of hilly pasture. The farm's hilly  terrain helps the goats develop strong musculature. 

In addition to the breeding program, Futrick handcrafts goat milk soap  from natural fats and oils. Our soaps are made  and we only use high quality essential oils and fragrances for our soap. Learn more about the farm at
Graphic image of registration flyer
Veteran Beth Futrick of Cherry Hill Farm shares this learning opportunity May 7 in Blair Co.:

The PA Ag Ombudsman Program is hosting a producer meeting on May 7 to discuss farm diversification, ag business opportunities, and the new PA Farm Bill. Scott Sheely with PDA will be in Blair Co. to give an overview of the Bill.
We also have speakers from PA Certified Organics, Penn State Extension, Local Growers, and Small Business Association to discuss growing hemp, becoming organically certified, Food Safety and GAP laws, developing a business plan and funding sources that support agriculture.

This event will be at Penn State – Altoona. Seating is limited!

From East Coast  Equestrian: "Devoting yourself to a good cause is a challenge, but Sara Hodgkiss takes it a step farther, addressing two needs at once.  Woerth It Hollow, Inc., in Kirkwood, PA,  has both an equine/animal rescue and a program to assist veterans and the disabled by allowing them to embrace every aspect of rescue farming. Their slogan is “Every Little Effort is Woerth It”.  Read more: Veterans Find Solace Amid Rescued Horses at Woerth It Hollow  

The ‘Next Level Sales’ Workshop Series is hosted by Penn State Extension in partnership with The Food Trust in Philadelphia.

Next Level Sales, April 25th in Philadelphia.
Flyer for Next Level Sales workshop
The workshop series is designed to support urban growers, food entrepreneurs, farm stand managers, and farmers market managers to reach their next level sales goals. 

Next Level Sales, May 1st, Honesdale
Honesdale Next Level Sales flyer
USDA Farm loans and microloans have increased maximums

Key changes include:
The Direct Operating Loan limit increased from $300,000 to $400,000; Guaranteed Operating Loan limit increased from $ 1.429 million to $1.75 million. Operating loans help producers pay for normal operating expenses, including machinery and equipment, seed, livestock feed, and more.

The Direct Farm Ownership Loan limit increased from $300,000 to $600,000, and the Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loan limit increased from $1.429 million to $1.75 million. Farm ownership loans help producers become owner-operators of family farms as well as improve and expand current operations.

Producers can now receive both a $50,000 Farm Ownership Microloan and a $50,000 Operating Microloan.  Microloans provide flexible access to credit for small, beginning, niche, and non-traditional farm operations.

Beginning and socially disadvantaged producers can now receive up to a 95% guarantee against the loss of principal and interest on a loan, up from 90%.

 Shiitake Mushroom School May 14th, 6:00 - 9:00pm

Penn State Extension, Lehigh County Office at 4184 Dorney Park Road, Allentown, PA 18104.

Shiitake MushroomsTopics include:

Mushroom 101
Tree Selection
Log Inoculation
Marketing/Business Planning

To register, go to Registration deadline is May 13, and cost is $85 per person.

Bedford County Conservation Distrcit maintains a variety of no-till corn planters, drills, lime spreaders, etc. that are used in promoting no-till management and in assisting county farmers in transitioning to no-till, in renovating pastures, and improving soil quality. Information about the no-till equipment available to rent can be found here. For information about availability and rates for the equipment, call Cody Waltemire at 814-623-7900, ext. 128.
The PA Veteran Farming Project thanks Pittsburgh DAV Chapters 8 and 76  for their support of our Project efforts.  We serve VA eligible active duty, veterans, Guard and Reserve, and their spouses. There is no charge for our services to eligible individuals. 

Donations to the Project can be made by check payable to "Westmoreland Conservation District" with "Troops to Tractors" in the memo line. WCD is a tax exempt unit of sub-government, so your gift will be deductible to the full extent of the law. Mail to:
218 Donohoe Rd.,
Greensburg  PA 

Thank you!

Copyright © 2019 PA Veteran Farming Project, All rights reserved.

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PA Veteran Farming Project · PO Box 65 · Forbes Road, PA 15633 · USA

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