Cecil Whig

AgriCultur­e; Don’t encourage black bears, Pollinator Week, increase in equestrian interest

- By JANE BELLMYER jbellmyer@ cecilwhig. com

NEWS FROM THE FIELDS, FARMS AND BEYOND…

It’s that time of year again when Mar yland’s

black bear population is on the move and ever y so often Cecil County gets a visit from these impressive creatures.

Mar yland Department of Natural Resources urges people to leave the bears alone and let them pass through. Typically the bears are young males in search of a mate and Cecil County is just in their path, not their destinatio­n.

Bring in bird feeders at night and other sources of food including pet food. Make sure trash can lids are on tight.

If a bear gets too close for comfort make a lot of noise to send it on its way.

While a bear sighting in Elk Neck in 2019 was never verified by DNR, in 2018 a black bear was spotted near Cecil County Dragway in North East. Hailey Racine told the Whig she thought it was a Labrador retriever at first. However a DNR official identified it as a juvenile male bear. Two years earlier a bear, who was dubbed “Cecil” was tracked as he moved through the county from Elkton to Charlestow­n. •••

If you would like to be one of the workshop presenters at the Future Har vest Annual Winter Conference you have until Aug. 30 to submit your request for proposal. This year’s theme for the Jan. 13- 15, 2022 conference is “Together Again.”

“Proposals should be relevant to the audience and help them ( primarily commercial growers) improve their operations in order to be financiall­y successful,” according to the Future Har vest RFP. “Most of the workshops should be about farm production or business and marketing. Other workshops related to the environmen­t, labor, policy, the food system and the community are also welcome.”

For more informatio­n contact Gail Taylor, conference manager via email; gail@ futurehar vest. org.

To submit your proposal go to futurehar vestcasa. org

•••

There are a few spaces available for vendors at the Calvert Grange Yard Sale this Saturday, June 26. Proceeds benefit the Grange Scholarshi­p program.

Spaces range in price from $ 20 to $ 30. You must bring your own table if you have an outdoor space. Indoor sales go on rain or shine. Outdoor sales are weather dependent.

The sale, along with food sales, will be held at the grange hall, 2357 Telegraph Road, Rising Sun, from 8 a. m. until 1 p. m.

For details or enrollment as a vendor go to calvertgra­nge. com

•••

University of Delaware Extension has a free podcast offering unbiased informatio­n on a wide array of topics. On Extension 302 you can learn “All about that pasture” in one episode and “Got Dair y?” in the next.

A complete list of the published podcasts that can be accessed is available at https:// www. udel. edu/ academics/ colleges/ canr/ cooperativ­e- extension/ about/ podcast/ •••

Did you know this is Pollinator Week? It’s seven days to focus on this beneficial segment of nature that makes our food possible.

Companies, agencies, land owners and organizati­ons are getting involved by preser ving existing habitat, creating new habitat and changing practices to save valuable species such as the honeybee, bat and Monarch butterfly.

According to US Department of Agricultur­e, pollinator­s play a role in the production of more than 100 different types of crops in the United States and the honeybee alone adds $ 18 million to the ag economy.

“The health of these agricultur­al contributo­rs is critical to the vitality and sustainabi­lity of U. S. agricultur­e, food security, and our nation’s overall economy. Pollinator­s are also essential for healthy,

biodiverse ecosystems across public and private lands, including our agricultur­al lands and our National Forests and grasslands,” said Agricultur­e Secretar y Tom Vilsack. “I applaud pollinator conservati­on efforts happening across our nation. I recognize we have a lot more work to do to protect these important agricultur­al contributo­rs and creating awareness about the importance of pollinator­s is a continued step to ensuring pollinator­s thrive.”

Pollinator. org is a nonprofit based in California whose sole mission is to save pollinator­s through education and outreach. Check out their website for resources for your home, farm and classroom. •••

If there’s any bright spot in the pandemic it has been an increase in outdoor recreation including horseback riding.

Mar yland Horse Industr y Board conducted an online sur vey in April and the results show a 35% increase in public traffic at riding stables, a 28% increase in outdoor horse shows and events, and a 60% increase in business at tack shops.

“The results of these informal sur veys show that interest in Mar yland’s horse industr y and recreation­al riding is at an all- time high and reflects what we have been hearing from members of Mar yland’s horse community over the past year,” said Mar yland Agricultur­e Secretar y Joe Bartenfeld­er.

Jim Steele, chairman of MHIB, said it shows the resilience of Mar yland’s ag community.

“We are proud to see Mar yland’s stable owners and show organizers were quickly able to pivot and implement strict public health protocols at their facilities. Their fast action allowed for more Mar ylanders to experience horseback riding,” Steele said. “Now, we hope that the industr y can maintain this momentum and provide safe and quality experience­s to even more citizens.”

•••

In an effort to help the next generation of farmers, American Farm Bureau has launched Think F. A. S. T. for young people 14- 17.

F. A. S. T. stands for Farm and Ag Safety Training.

“Safety on the farm and ranch is vital,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Young people are the future of agricultur­e and we’re pleased to provide them with tools to help them become grounded in skills that will ser ve them well throughout their careers.”

The overall goal is to learn how to think through a situation and learn about avoiding common safety hazards.

There are 10 modules that take about 10 minutes to complete. The curriculum and all related materials are available on the AFBF website at fb. org

If you have a farm related event, idea or stor y you’d like to share in AgriCultur­e contact Jane Bellmyer at jbellmyer@ cecilwhig. com or 443- 245- 5007

Bear, DE - 1714 Pulaski Hwy.

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 ?? PHOTO COURTESY OF HOLLY RACINE ?? Hailey Racine thought at first the animal in this photo was a black Labrador retriever loping down the road in Cecil County in 2018. She soon realized it was a young bear.
PHOTO COURTESY OF HOLLY RACINE Hailey Racine thought at first the animal in this photo was a black Labrador retriever loping down the road in Cecil County in 2018. She soon realized it was a young bear.
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