PA Farmers at the National Institute

February 3, 2011 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Just ran across this article on  CF Grower abut the National Institute:

Pennsylvania Young Farmers attend National Institute in California

Pennsylvanians who participated in the National Young Farmer Educational Association Institute in Monterey, CA, gather following the final evening program.

Thirty-four Pennsylvanians participated in the 44th annual National Young Farmers Educational Association Institute (NYFEA), held in Monterey, CA, last month, joining [other] young farmers from around the country in educational seminars and tours of the fertile Central Coast valleys.

Pennsylvania Young Farmers Association (PYFA) sponsored three young people to the conference to participate in the Ag Communications program and the Young Agricultural Leaders Event (YALE). They included Caleb Wright, Alexandria, a freshman at Penn State and member of the PYFA Board; Benjamin Shughart, Carlisle, State FFA chaplain and member of the PYFA Board; and Hannah Wentworth, Quarryville, a sophomore at Penn State and winner of the stipend offered by PYFA.

It is the fourth year that PYFA sponsored youth to participate in the national program to forge closer relationships with the next generation of agricultural producers. They interacted with Young Farmers and other young people from around the country.

Monica Abbott, Olympic Silver Medalist in softball for USA, brought an inspirational message of determination and hard work to those attending the YALE program.

Shirley Faye Herr, Lebanon and Cedar Crest Young Farmer member, participated in the Spokesperson for Agriculture segment of the program, presenting her speech along with other state winners. She had been named the Pennsylvania Young Farmers Spokesperson for Agriculture at the 2010 winter conference.

In the NYFEA delegate meeting, Carol Corman, Centre Hall, was elected president-elect, after serving two years as NYFEA secretary. Delegates representing Pennsylvania included Denise Sanner, Kutztown, current PYFA president, and Keith Leydig, Berlin, PYFA past president.

Tours included visits to operations in the “salad bowl” of California, including an artichoke operation, onion processing, a Dole facility that processed pre-packaged salads and a nursery that prepared seedlings for the area’s vegetable growers.

Attendees also visited the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum, the Soledad Mission and Yesterday’s Barn, learning about the history of California.

Agricultural tours included:

• Ocean Mist Farms, which grows artichokes, a vegetable first brought to the Central Coast by Italian immigrants. Ocean Mist, located in the Salinas Valley, is the largest artichoke grower in North America.

• DOLE Salad Plant, which washes, cuts, packages and ships pre-packaged salads in refrigerated containers all within hours of being harvested.

• King City Nursery, where a wide variety of vegetable plants are grown for early planting.

• Gills Onions, a fresh-cut processor of onions for the food service industry which has a highly acclaimed advanced energy recovery system that allows them to convert most of their onion processing waste into renewable energy.

The 2011 NYFEA Institute will be held in Kansas City, MO, December 7-11. The Pennsylvania Young Farmers Winter conference will be held in DuBois, Feb. 8-11. For more information go to


Entry filed under: NYFEA info, The National Institute 2010.

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