Agriculture Briefs

Farm Bureau picnic slated

The annual summer picnic of the Blair County Farm Bureau will be held July 11 at the Williamsburg Farm Show Building. Participants are asked to bring place settings for their family and a covered dish to share. Meat and drinks will be provided.

In addition to a meal, the picnic will feature games and activities for kids, an opportunity to hear from political candidates and a Farm Bureau baseball game, weather permitting.

Tickets at $1 each are available from any board member. For more information, contact Ken Brenneman at 832-2201.

FSA accepting nominations

Nominations will be accepted to serve on Farm Service Agency county committees until Aug. 1.

The election of agricultural producers to Farm Service Agency county committees is important to all farmers and ranchers because FSA county committees are a link between the agricultural community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

County committee members help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level. Farmers and ranchers who serve on county committees help with the decisions necessary to administer the programs in their counties. They work to ensure FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.

For more information, contact Melissa Webreck at the Huntingdon/Blair Farm Service Agency at 627-1624, ext. 2.

PSU program receives gift

Penn State programs that foster collaboration between the College of Agricultural Sciences and agricultural universities in the Ukraine will get a boost as the result of a gift from a local family.

George and Nina Woskob of State College have pledged $100,000 to support the Woskob Ukraine New Century Fund, an endowment established by George Woskob’s parents, real estate developers Helen and Alex Woskob.

Created in 2006, the Woskob Ukraine New Century Fund is designed to promote partnerships, build institutions and create networks of support for agricultural entrepreneurs and industries as the foundation for a democratic and market-oriented Ukraine. The endowment also supports faculty development programs, graduate assistantships, conferences and exchanges with universities and businesses in Ukraine.

Adviser receives award

Jana Peters, advising coordinator and undergraduate adviser in the Department of Animal Science, is the recipient of this year’s Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Academic Advising Award.

Sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society, the award recognizes faculty members and staff for overall effectiveness in student advising, individual student goal-setting and career planning and personal counseling. Candidates are recommended by faculty, students, administrators and alumni.

In her current position since 1999, Peters has mentored many students in the animal science major. She coordinates all undergraduate advising in the department; provides academic, educational and career counseling to students at all Penn State campus locations; coordinates student recruitment efforts; assists students with career placement; conducts faculty adviser training and maintains as many as 40 personal advisees, while assisting many others on a walk-in basis.

Alum donates to Center

A Penn State center that helps ensure sound stewardship of privately owned forestland in Pennsylvania will enhance its programming, thanks to a gift from a foundation created by a Penn State alumnus and benefactor.

The Hamer Foundation, founded by Donald Hamer of Bellefonte, has committed $500,000 over five years to support the Center for Private Forests housed in the College of Agricultural Sciences. The center uses applied research and outreach to address opportunities associated with owning and managing privately held forest. In doing this, the center seeks partnerships with and support from organizations and agencies that recognize the importance of conserving the economic, ecological and social values derived from forests.

“About 740,000 private landowners own 71 percent of the state’s nearly 17 million forested acres,” said center director James Finley, professor of forest resources in a statement. “To ensure that we have healthy, productive forests for tomorrow, it’s essential that these landowners engage in the conservation and stewardship of their woodlands.”