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Washington Co. Farmer Named Outstanding Woman in Agriculture
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 11/14/2017

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's (PFB) Women's Leadership Committee has selected Nancy Midla of Washington County as the recipient of the Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award during the state's largest farm organization's 67th Annual Meeting in Hershey.

Midla is a hands-on farmer, who co-manages a 500-acre purebred Hereford beef operation near Marianna, with her husband. Midla oversees the artificial insemination program, calving 60-80 head annually, and takes care of all breed documentation and processing of financials on the farm. The family also grows corn, silage and hay to feed their animals and sell extra hay on the open market.

"We start calving in January and watch them very closely during the winter months. I'm the one who gets the 3 a.m. shift, when I check on the health and well-being of the animals during the calving process and I also take care of the baby calves," said Nancy Midla. "One of the greatest joys on the farm is seeing a calf takes its first breath."

Midla, who began farming in 1973, was a driving force in bringing the "Ag in the Classroom" movement to Western Pennsylvania and even participated in the AITC classroom experience, which is held each year at Penn State University. During the 1980s, she visited elementary schools to teach some 400 students per year about agriculture through educational materials and slide presentations featuring her farm.

"I've always placed a large emphasis on education, so when opportunities arose, I jumped at the opportunity to inform the public about what we do on the farm. One of the first opportunities was sparked by a Farm Bureau program that encouraged farmers to go into schools and talk to students about the story of agriculture and where their food comes from," added Midla.

Midla, who has been a member of the Washington County Farm Bureau for more than 40 years, played a major role in a local Farm Bureau initiative called "Ag Days at the Mall," where she brought livestock from her farm into the center concourse of the shopping mall so the public could see, smell and touch animals and learn about where their food comes from. Over the years, Midla's farm hosted Washington County Farm Bureau's Legislative Farm Tour and summer picnic.

"Nancy's passion for agriculture is contagious, while her commitment to educating children and adults about the many aspects of farming and food production is renowned in her area of the state," said PFB President Rick Ebert. "Nancy is also a role model for young women and I'm proud to recognize her as Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's third recipient of the Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award."

Midla has been a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) since 1973 and has been instrumental in the success of the group's scholarship program. Midla has also volunteered her time mentoring young girls entering middle school through AAUW, often reaching up to 50 girls each year.

Hundreds of farmers from across the state attended Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's 67th Annual Meeting to set policy for the statewide organization on issues affecting farm and rural families.

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