Penn State Extension Service Newsletter for the Week of February 19, 2018

Beekeeping Winter Meeting - February 22, 2018 - 6:30 p.m. – Ag Heritage Building, 185 Franklin Farm Lane, Chambersburg, PA. The speaker will be Mr. Craig Cella of Loganton, Pennsylvania, a Pennsylvania State Bee Inspector in Franklin County who continues to make a living with his bees and honey. Any questions, please call the Extension Office at 717-263-9226. The event is free and open to the public.

CHEMSWEEP Program – Deadline for application: February 28, 2018 – Agricultural businesses and pesticide applicators in Franklin County can dispose of unwanted pesticides safely and easily through the PA Department of Agriculture’s program. For more information, visit or call the Penn State Extension Franklin County office at 717-263-9226. Retired farmers are also encouraged to participate.

2018 Beginner Beekeeping Basics course – Thursdays, March 1, 8, 15 & 22, 2018, from 6:30-9:00 pm at the Franklin County Ag Heritage Building, 185 Franklin Farm Lane, Chambersburg. An apiary field day will be held on a Saturday in April. Cost is $60 per family by February 21. After Feb. 21, the fee will be $65. Registration is required and is limited to the first 50. Registration includes a beekeeping manual, membership in the Franklin County Beekeepers’ Association and various resources. To request a registration form, please call 717-263-9226.


100 years of Agricultural Extension Service in Franklin County-The Later Years (1969-Present Day)

By Samantha Robison, Client Relationship Manager, Penn State Extension

In an era when the United States was involved in the Vietnam War and the primary focus was war, there were still advancements being made back home in Franklin County despite many families having loved ones who were serving overseas.  Integrated Pest Management as defined by Penn State Extension is an approach to pest control that focuses on pest prevention by eliminating the root causes of pest problems. By 1969, most of the apple growers in the county adopted IPM. In the early 1970’s the EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutritional Education Program) was initiated to help disadvantaged homemakers. This program is still offered by Penn State Extension today. As the 1970’s continued, Extension in Franklin County was expanding and offering more and more services as seen below.

  • 1973: Commissioners agreed to fund a new Extension Dairy Agent.
  • 1974: First annual 4-H Dairy Calf Sale was held
  • 1975: The embryology project was started in the county. Embryology is the study of embryos and their development. Many schools still participate in this popular program.
  • 1976: Certification for the Pesticide Applicator licensing began in the County.

In 1982, with the tireless effort of the 4-H agent Robert Kessler, the Horsemanship for the Handicapped was established. Starting with four riders, a three-horse stable and a 60x 90 foot outdoor ring, this program is now called the Franklin County 4-H Therapeutic Riding Center and is located on 25 acres in Chambersburg, PA. The facility consists of a ten-stall barn, two outdoor and one indoor riding arenas, multiple pastures and trails. Weekly lessons are available for physically and/or mentally disabled children and adults. While participating in the program, students will learn riding or driving skills and basic horsemanship skills through mounted and unmounted activities.

The 4-H Seeing Eye Puppy Club was founded in 1985 with just two puppies. The Seeing Eye puppy club is where individuals, either youth or adult volunteers, learn about dogs and raise puppies for The Seeing Eye organization. Since 1985, the club has had approximately 180 puppies go through the program.

The 1990s brought the Master Gardener Program which had its humble beginnings of seven volunteers who contributed approximately 350 volunteer hours that first year, created a small garden, held workshops and formed a partnership with the Franklin County Nursing home in 1993. This is a huge difference to what the program looks like today. Ranked first top performing volunteer Master Gardener Program in the state for the third year in a row with 149 hours per volunteer, this group now takes care of eight different gardens and partners with multiple organizations including: South Central Community Action Programs, New Forge Crossing in Waynesboro, 4-H Garden Club, CASHS Gardening Program, Franklin County Nutrition Task Force, Laurel Life/Manito, Network Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA Chambersburg, and Franklin County Libraries.

The 2000s have been named the New Era for Penn State Extension. Encompassing the modern day Extension includes seven unit areas: 4-H Youth Development; Agronomy & Natural Resources; Animal Systems; Energy, Entrepreneurship, & Community Development; Food, Families and Health; Food Safety and Quality; and Horticulture. We believe all people should have access to science-based information and education. That is both the legacy and the future of Penn State Extension. Information is power and changes lives. Putting innovation and science-based solutions to work in businesses and communities across Pennsylvania is why we do what we do. To ensure that legacy continues, Penn State Extension is continuing to evolve in a digital era and to capitalize on the innovation and technologies that allow us to get science-based information and education to more Pennsylvanians.

For more information or to get involved with Penn State Franklin County Extension, please call 717-263-9226 or go to




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