October 19, 2023 (Middletown, PA) – On Thursday, the PA Friends of Agriculture Foundation, a charitable organization supported by the PA Farm Bureau, unveiled their newest traveling trailer at Londonderry Elementary School. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Mobile “Ag Lab” program, which brings agriculture to Pennsylvania schools, the Foundation invited special guests to attend and help set off confetti cannons at the event.
The Mobile Agriculture Education Lab program was the brainchild of four farming families back in 2003. Marlin Miller, Richard & Shelva Mains, Horace & Evelyn Waybright, and Clement & Donna Haldeman made the initial investment in the very first trailer by giving their time and money to kickstart program. Today, the Foundation organizes six different trailers in order to serve the entire state of Pennsylvania throughout the school year. During Thursday’s program, Chris Hoffman, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, paid respect to these families, saying, “These are the farmers who saw the need for this program in our state and worked hard to make it happen.”
The Wenger Group was represented at the celebration and recognized for their gift of $100,000 toward the funding of this brand new trailer, which replaces one of the first trailers in the fleet.
As Hoffman explained, “This is just one replacement out of six. Each trailer has a lifespan and will need to be replaced in time. Every donation to the Foundation helps us build funding so that we will never have to interrupt our programming at schools.”
Kathy Barry, owner of Kathy Barry Agency, also attended the event and spoke on her financial support of the lab in the Lower Dauphin School District, in memory of Keith Oellig. Oellig had been a member of the Dauphin County Farm Bureau and was passionate about bringing agriculture education to students in the area.
Morgan Sheffield represented the PA Department of Agriculture and spoke to the grant funding the Foundation has received for this program.
Lastly, Rebecca Lehman, FFA State Officer, said a few words on the importance of the program and how it brings children into agriculture and can give them inspiration to join FFA or other programs in high school.
Students from Londonderry got to enjoy a birthday song, animal hats, activity sheets, a “farm fan,” and a confetti cannon pop at the end of the program on Thursday. All grades at Londonderry had the chance to experience the lab in action earlier this week.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION: Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation is a charitable organization supported by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. The Foundation has been educating the public and promoting agriculture, the largest of the Commonwealth’s industries since its inception in 1986. To learn more about foundation programs, go to www.pfbfriends.com