Our future farmers will
become the keystone for
clean water and healthy,
farms in the future.
CBF Mentoring Program Prepares
Penn Manor High School student Rose
Drumm gently nestled a 24-inch-tall red
bud seedling into a small hole in the soil of
an Amish farm in Lancaster County.
Following behind Rose, Wesley Herr hammered away at a wooden stake, attached a
plastic tube, and lowered it over the seedling to protect the young tree planted by
The teenagers planted almost 250 trees
to restore a streamside buffer along the
ambling Pequea Creek. CBF Restoration
Specialist Ashley Spotts kept the supply of
seedlings and planting advice flowing.
CBF education programs in Pennsylvania
encourage students throughout the Susque-
hanna River watershed to learn outside, to get
their hands in the dirt and feet in the water.
On the Amish farm that day, Drumm
and Herr were working toward and learning about potential careers in agriculture,
participating in CBF Pennsylvania’s new
Mentors in Agricultural Conservation
(MAC) job-shadowing program. Both students will graduate in 2017.
Roughly 23,000 miles of Pennsylvania riv-
ers and streams are polluted. As agriculture
is the leading source of that pollution, it is
essential that future generations of farmers
have the resources and know-how to restore
and protect Commonwealth waterways.
With her two sisters, Drumm hopes to one
day inherit Broken Arrow Ranch, the family’s
54-acre beef farm in southern Lancaster County.
Herr sees his future in agriculture as “
working alongside local farmers to help them
grow their own operations.”
MAC, which is part of CBF Pennsylvania’s
Student Leadership Program, pairs students
in Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4H
with CBF restoration specialists. Students
participate in restoration work and talk
with farmers about conservation projects
on their farms.
After their MAC field experience, students
like Drumm and Herr meet with college
career advisors to learn more about how
to further their education in agricultural
conservation. The program wraps up with a
five-day trip to the Chesapeake Bay, where
students study how farmland is part of the
The trip to the Bay left a lasting impression
on Drumm. “It opened my eyes to what I can
do at home to help a few hundred miles away
and how water quality affects the animals at
my house and on my farm,” she says.
“Most students interested in agriculture
won’t go on to own farms or even necessarily work on a farm,” says Lane Whigham,
CBF Student Leadership Coordinator in
Pennsylvania. “But, the modern agricultural
industry reaches well beyond the farm and
into bio-industrial corporations, mechanical engineering firms, and environmental
science and conservation organizations.”
The need for qualified workers who understand agricultural soil and water conservation
will only increase in the years to come. “Our
future farmers will become the keystone for
clean water and healthy, economically sound
farms in the future,” Whigham adds.
U To learn more about CBF’s clean-water efforts
in Pennsylvania, visit cbf.org/Pennsylvania.
Mentors in Agricultural Conservation (MAC) student Rose Drumm plants a seedling at a streamside
buffer in Lancaster County, while learning about agricultural career paths.