Ag Day: Finding a Way to Farm

HONESDALE, Pa. -- Presidents Day is "Ag Day" in Wayne County. Farmers and suppliers come together every year at Honesdale High School. This year, many of them are looking to turn around a struggling industry: the family farm.

You can't miss the theme of Wayne County Ag Day at Honesdale High School. There's the milk punch, a cow mascot walking around, cheese, and plenty of ice cream.

The county's dairy princess raised a glass of milk to everyone in agriculture and the next generation of farmers were recognized by everyone.

Senior Lily Fries is a member of Future Farmers of America and sums up the outlook for the industry.

"There's opportunities for farmers my age that want to be a farmer, but the prices aren't there and so they're nervous to go into it," Fries said.

Fries explained low milk prices and brutal weather have made things tough lately and local leaders have seen a need to do something to help.

Wayne County Commissioner Brian Smith, a farmer himself, has seen the number of farms here and across the state shrink dramatically.

"We can't just sit back and watch farmers disappear," Commissioner Smith said.

Recognizing the need to put an emphasis back into agriculture here in Wayne County, the county has commissioned a study to find out what can be done to help farms and farmers.

"We need processing for fruits and vegetables, for meats, milk," Commissioner Smith said.

That's one of the ways the study found Wayne County can help agriculture by finding a way to process milk here, among other things.

Farmer Tammy Preble believes whatever the fix, it's a complicated one.

"If getting our own processor means putting more money in farmers' pockets. It's not going to solve everything, it needs to be a multifaceted solution," Preble said.

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