College of Ag Sciences open house: Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will hold an informative open house for prospective students 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 14 in Heritage Hall of the Hetzel Union Building at the Penn State main campus. Prospective students and their families will learn about the college and what it offers. The event will feature sessions offering information about the college's 17 academic majors, during which attendees will hear from faculty members about programs in agricultural sciences; business and education; animal science and pre-vet studies; biomedical and food sciences; energy, engineering and technology; environmental sciences and natural resources; and plant sciences. Tours will be available, including such facilities as the equine facility and the large-animal facilities. Students and their families can also visit the dorms, libraries and bookstore. The event is open to all prospective college students and their families. Students can register online at the College of Agricultural Sciences' Future Students website, agsci.psu.edu/futurestudents. Walk-ins to the event are welcome.
Native and streamside landscaping workshop: will be 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 15 at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve, 1537 Mount Hope Road, Fairfield, Adams County. Join Master Gardener Mary Ann Ryan to learn about plant selection and the proper practices to maintain the health of your stream ecosystem. Adance registration is preferred. Cost is $5 for members; $8 for nonmembers. For details and to register, call 717-642-5840 or visit www.StrawberryHill.org.
Apply for Dairy of Distinction Award: Pennsylvania dairy farms are invited to apply for this year's Dairy of Distinction award from the Northeast Dairy Farm Beautification Program. Applications must be submitted by April 15. The award is based on the idea that attractive farmsteads enhance consumer confidence in the wholesomeness of milk and stimulate milk sales and public support for the industry. Dairies receiving the highest scores in each of 10 Pennsylvania districts will be awarded an 18- by 24-inch Dairy of Distinction sign to display in front of their farm.
Summer Environmental Careers Camp: Young Pennsylvanians interested in pursuing environmental careers are invited to apply by April 15 for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' summer residential camp. The free six-day camp begins July 13 at Kirby Episcopal House and Chapel, Mountain Top, Luzerne County. The camp is near Nescopeck State Park and about 10 miles south of Wilkes-Barre. The camp will introduce 20 to 25 students in 10th to 12th grades to conservation and environmental careers. From wildlife conservation projects and stream sampling of aquatic life, to forestry skills, daily activities will offer students a hands-on, team-building learning experience in an outdoor setting.
Mid-Atlantic Antique Tractor Super Pull: will begin 8 a.m. April 19 and continue through the evening at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg. Hundreds of antique tractors from the Mid-Atlantic area are expected to complete. All antique tractors welcome. Admission is by donation. For details, call Brad Peters at 717-870-3871.
Williams Grove Farmers Flea Market: hosted by Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association, is open sunrise to 2 p.m. every Sunday, weather-permitting, throughout the year, at Williams Grove Steam Engine Show Grounds, Williams Grove Road, Williams Grove. All vendors must have and display a current Pennsylvania sales tax license. Admission and parking are free. For details, call 717-766-4001 or email email@example.com. For directions, visit www.wghsea.org.
Disaster assistance programs: The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that farmers and ranchers can sign up for disaster assistance programs, reestablished and strengthened by the 2014 Farm Bill, beginning April 15. The Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013 and 2014. Enrollment also begins April 15 for producers with losses covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program and the Tree Assistance Program. To expedite applications, all producers who experienced losses are encouraged to collect records documenting these losses in preparation for the enrollment in these disaster assistance programs. Information on the types of records necessary can be provided by local FSA county offices. For details, producers may review the 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet, ELAP and TAP fact sheets online at www.usda.gov, or visit any local FSA office or USDA Service Center.
FSA farm loans: Producers are reminded that the Farm Service Agency offers specially targeted farm loans known as Socially Disadvantaged and Beginning Farmer loans. These loan programs are designed to help farmers purchase and operate family farms. Farm ownership loan funds may be used to purchase or enlarge a farm, purchase easements or rights of way needed in the arm's operation, erect or improve buildings such as a dwelling or barn, promote soil and water conservation and development, and pay closing costs. Farm operating loan funds may be used to purchase livestock, poultry, farm and home equipment, feed, seed, fuel, fertilizer, chemicals, refinance debts, hail and other crop insurance, food, clothing, medical care and hired labor. Funds also may be used to install or improve water systems for home use, livestock or irrigation and other improvements. Individuals, partnerships, joint operations, corporations and cooperatives primarily and directly engaged in farming and ranching on family-size operations may apply. A family-size farm is considered to be one that a family can operate and manage itself. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for a given program before FSA can extend program benefits. For details or applications, contact your local FSA office.
To submit your organization's information: to this agriculture calendar, which is published Sundays, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send to Area Agriculture, York Daily Record, 1891 Loucks Road, York 17408. Event information should be submitted several weeks in advance.