Local farmers hear warnings on EPA rules, ticks

The focus was on agriculture as the president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau addressed the Chester Delaware County Farm Bureau’s (CDCFB) Spring Banquet in Goshen Fire Hall last week.

Rick Ebert, president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, addresses

Rick Ebert, president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, addresses the crowd at the Chester Delaware County Farm Bureau’s (CDCFB) Spring Banquet.

Rick Ebert, who is also a dairy farmer in Westmoreland County, spoke to an audience of farmers, guests, and lawmakers, including state Representatives Tim Hennessey and Becky Corbin and Senator Andy Dinniman, a Farm Bureau press release said.

Ebert urged members to get involved with the Farm Bureau as well as their communities. “Step out and tell your story” and talk to the consumer about how you care for your land and treat your livestock, he said. Adding that everyone wants clean water, he said farmers play a vital role to ensure that nutrient loss is minimized and soil erosion prevented, the release said.

He said the Farm Bureau is concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is increasing its role over water and land management by making decisions on how and when states need to take action, which exceeds its authority under the Clean Water Act. For example, the EPA could require farmers to obtain permits if severe rainfall causes water to lie on the surface of their farmland.

Ebert encouraged members to find time to get involved at the state and federal levels and also at the municipal level. He also recognized that sometimes a disconnect exists between farmers and neighbors, and he suggested that farmers invite their neighbors onto their farms to see how they grow food and treat animals.

The audience of more than a hundred also heard from Doug Fearn, president of the Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. “The ticks are already out there,” he warned, describing an epidemic that is growing increasingly more severe. The new version of “Emergence, ” a film on Lyme disease, will be shown at West Chester University, Sykes Auditorium, 100 Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, on Wednesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. The movie is free and open to the public.

The Chester Delaware County Farm Bureau is the largest county Farm Bureau in the state with membership of over 7,200 members. Howard Robinson, now in the PFB Hall of Fame, made it clear that there are many benefits from membership, including living longer than other people, enjoying fresh country air, and getting plenty of exercise. “Membership adds years to your life and life to your years,” he said.

Membership is open to anyone who is farming or who has an interest in farmers who produce our food.

 

 

 

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About Kathleen Brady Shea

Kathleen Brady Shea, a nearly lifelong area resident, has been reporting on local news for several decades, including 19 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. She believes that journalists provide a vital watchdog service in the community, and she embraces that commitment. In addition to unearthing news, she also enjoys digging up dirt in her garden, a hobby that frequently fosters Longwood Gardens envy. Along with her husband, Pete, she lives in a historic residence near the Brandywine Battlefield, a property that is also home to a sheep, a goat, and a passel of fish.

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