APRIL 13, 2020
A Letter from Alliance President Jim Hershey
To All Members of the PA No-Till Alliance:

Typically, this is the time of year where we all are entering spring planting season with all the excitement, energy and, yes, even optimism that a new season entails. These are things that are embedded in us as farmers. Even when we know there are the usual uncertainties and risks of markets, weather, unexpected pests and the like, we approach this season with great anticipation.

This year all that is tempered and compounded by all the additional uncertainties related to the unprecedented conditions imposed by COVID-19. Additional market uncertainty, supply chain uncertainty, labor force uncertainty, personal and family concerns…..the list goes on.

But even amidst all this, as farmers, we remain true to our mission of providing our friends, neighbors, country and world with a safe and abundant supply of food and fiber. Likewise, as members of the No-Till Alliance we remain true to our vision of “ Using no-till systems to improve our soil quality, productivity and profitability for future generations.”  

This starts on each of our farms, but through the Alliance it extends to our mission “To promote the successful application of no-till through shared ideas, experiences, education and new technology.”

So how does your No-Till Alliance do this?

It starts at home, with our families.

These two young guys start learning “Cover Crop and Soil Health 101” at an early age while in the field with their dad and PA No-Till Alliance Director, Matt Ulmer. 

It means personal interaction with other farmers.

We often hear that ‘farmers learn best from other farmers’ and that certainly appears to be the case here as numerous farmers check out how Hershey farms plants into living green cover at the Alliance Annual Field Day.

It includes spreading the word through Alliance events, like our winter meetings.

The Lancaster County crowd at the February 2020 Soil Health Meeting listens attentively as keynote speaker Trey Hill relates his experience in adopting cover crop use to his large eastern shore Maryland farm.

And at other events.

President Jim Hershey speaks the national meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Society about the water quality benefits resulting from use of cover crops and no-till on his farm operation.

It even includes educating government officials and policy makers.

While visiting the Soil Health display at the PA Farm Show in January, No-Till Alliance Director Gordon England talks to Governor Wolf regarding the importance of no-till, cover crops and soil health.
And so my friends and Alliance members, in these trying times it’s important to remember that our work goes on and our goals remain constant. I wish all of you nothing but the best as we all navigate these uncharted waters and may God bless each of you.

Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance
2215 Forest Hills Drive, Suite 39, Harrisburg, PA 17112