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Pennsylvania Ag News Headlines
Farming on the Rise for Family Self-sustainment
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 03/22/2023

More and more people are exploring the idea of self-sustainment through home agriculture. There are resources growing to help anyone interested in pursuing the endeavor.

“I see a strong growing interest in the community with small farming,” said Brandon Witmer, Agriculture Science Teacher at Otto-Eldred High School. “We use social media to show our agriculture program and people are interacting, you can see the interest.”

A Port Allegany farmer shared that opinion.

“I have seen a doubling of people interested in growing or raising their own food,” said Matt Edgreen, a beef cattle farmer. “I saw an increase with COVID and with financial reasons now. Sometimes it’s not how much you can make doing it; it’s what you save.”

What Edgreen sees in McKean County can be seen across the state. Families raising their own and growing their own to be more self-sustaining.

“We don’t really know how many small farms are out there,” said Shannon Powers, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. “Colloquially we talk about an increase. It is a common thought that there is a growing trend.”

Powers pointed out that the only time they would track agriculture activity is when they start selling and then regulations would have numbers to track. There are not hard numbers for how many people are farming for themselves.

“Visit our website and the Penn State Extension page,” said Powers. “There is great information for anyone to access on the Penn State Extension website to include online courses, articles and trending topics.”


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