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Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Project-
724-691-1087  Facebook
In this issue:  Surplus program delay, Workshops/Webinars, PA Farm Bill, GEMS hops, Fayette Co. farm tour, Williamsburg market
Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act:

Cargo TrailerUpdate on the incoming program for Veteran-owned businesses to access Federal Surplus Property: still in development phase, still no established time frame as to when the program will begin. Be prepared to access the opportunity more quickly by becoming a verified Veteran Owned Business ahead of timeGo to  t0 set up your verification, the 1st and required step of this program.

What's in the PA Farm Bill?
PA State CapitolProposed $24M package for ag--  see the fact sheet from the PA Dept. of Ag. Numerous bills have been introduced in both houses relating to  wish list items. To research specific bills, see the latest developments (provided by PADAg)  here. 

Berks Co.: Managing Weeds Using Cover Crops & Poultry
Wed, May 29, Kutztown. Sponsored by PASA.

2-day Tractor Operation & Maintenance Workshop for Women, Pottstown, Montgomery Co., June 3&4; price just reduced to $60. Registration open now; class size limited. More info.

Allegheny Co.: Friday, June 14, SBA Boots to Business Reboot, 8:30am–3pm  FREE Pittsburgh SBA office. Veterans of all eras, AD/Guard/Reserve and spouses are eligible.   You'll learn the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to launch a business, including steps for developing business concepts, how to develop a business plan, and information on SBA resources available to help. Details here.

Free Wednesday webinars from our pals in the Free State at the Women's Ag Network of the Mid-Atlantic. Register

  • 6/12/19: Emotional Well-Being: Warning Signs and Resources
  • 6/26/19: Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket (backyard poultry)
  • 8/14/19: Farm Liability Insurance and Farm Business Structures: How they can work together to protect you and your farming business
Clarion Co.: June 20  Weed Control Strategies on Organic Farms

GEMS Farm, Carlisle

A rainy May day was a good day to visit GEMS Farm, Carlisle, where 22 year Navy veteran Michael Reifsnyder and his wife Sharon grow 5 varieties of hops on their family farm. Their business partner recently left the field, so the Reifsnyders are taking over the marketing of their premium hops, and are welcoming new brewer clients. They've recently launched their new website, and you can stay breast of what's going on at their expanding hops operation on Facebook as well.
Last week GEMS hops were among the 20 veteran-owned hops farms represented in a special pre-Memorial Day release of "Hurry Up and Wait". The special brew benefits the Pennsylvania Veterans Trust, which awards funding to veteran/military serving non-profits. Find locations where you can quaff a pint and toast veteran farmers here.
Trail Town Market in Williamsburg is seeking vendors. Flyer here.
On May 17 two Fayette County veteran farms hosted Western PA Dir., PA Dept. of Ag, PA State Sen. Pat Stefano, a representative of PA Rep. Matt Dowling, and Fayette Co. Farm Bureau for a tour of Heritage Farms and Red Range Farm, LLC.
A pulled pork lunch was provided by Daugherty Food Truck and Catering, after which guests toured Lrry and Anita Daugherty's 40 acre farm, home to heritage hogs and cattle. 
Next, Rogers and Lorraine Clawson hosted the group for a tour of their nearby organic vegetable and herb farm, where they use a high tunnel obtained with partial funding from NRCS, and have sheep, goats, turkeys, and more.
Thank you to both families for opening your farms to the group in order for them to walk the land and learn about the practical needs of small farmers in sw PA, including funding for farm infrastructure, and more USDA processors. 
We gratefully acknowledge the support of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 8 and Chapter 76 (Pittsburgh). The PA Veteran Farming Project is fiscally sponsored by the Westmoreland Conservation District. There's no charge for our services to eligible veterans/Guard/Reserve/military and their spouses.  Information in this newsletter and on our website is for informational purposes only. Please complete due diligence before entering into any legal or financial agreements.  Support our work: donations may be made by check payable to "WCD" with "Troops to Tractors" in the memo line; mail to WCD, 218 Donohoe Rd., Greensburg  PA  15601. Your donation is tax deductib le 
Copyright © 2019 PA Veteran Farming Project, All rights reserved.

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