Friday On The Farm ~ January 21 2022
Recently I was elected to be the president of our county Farm Bureau. In our newsletter the president writes a message to the membership. The following is my first letter addressing the membership on a forward vision for the Chester / Delaware County Farm Bureau.
2021 is rapidly coming to a close and the Holiday season is upon us.
The CDCFB wishes all of our members a Merry Christmas. We hope that
you find time to spend with your loved ones and remember the reason for the season.
With the end of the year comes the reorganization of the CDCFB board of directors which happens annually at our October meeting. This year we had big shoes to fill as Dan Miller decided to not continue as the president of our county organization. Thankfully we were able to convince Dan to stay on as our second vice president where his advice will be crucial as we move forward.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Douglas B. Lapp. I farm in Cochranville with my father and grandfather growing corn, soybeans, and wheat as well as raising chickens for Tyson. In 2015 I graduated from Lebanon Valley College with a business degree and in 2018 I was elected to the CDCFB Board of Directors. In 2019 and 2020, I was elected as the second vice president of our county and feel quite honored to attempt to pick up the torch from Dan as the next president.
I did not know much about the farm bureau and its role in agriculture before getting involved with the Board. Three years later, I see that this organization is one of the most important things I can be involved in if I’m going to make a lifelong career out of farming. Agriculture is a key industry within Pennsylvania, but down here in the southeast it’s very easy for everyday Pennsylvanians to not see the impact and importance of our industry.
As the Philadelphia suburbs continue to grow, and our agriculture community feels more outside pressure from those forces, it is imperative that we stay organized to make sure that Agriculture has a seat at the table as decisions are made. Whether infrastructure, environmental issues, or land development, we must stay focused together on making sure agriculture in Chester and Delaware counties has a bright future.
An old Indian quote says: “A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong”. I see this as the roll of the Farm Bureau. When one farm in our region is attacked for normal farming practices by people who do not understand agriculture, it is imperative that we as a group stand with them and provide support to help them through the challenge.
Moving forward there are a few key items I hope to influence within our county farm bureau: continued engagement at the state level, cultivating our future generation, and showcasing the necessity for a strong farm bureau.
Our role as a member of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is to help influence and guide policy development at the state level. These policies influence legislators to assist with the needs of agriculture. The PFB is the strongest organization with the most powerful presence in Harrisburg. It will only remain that way if we remain actively engaged within the process.
The PFB includes a segment of those in agriculture under 35 years old referred to as Young Ag Professionals (YAP). Our county has had a relatively quiet presence within this structure since I have been on the board. My hope over the next few years is to cultivate that sector of Chester and Delaware County Agriculture to create lifelong relationships between farm bureau and our next generation of Ag professionals. At our next board meetings, we will be looking into things we can do to engage this sector so if you have any ideas please reach out to me.
My final goal is to find better ways of communicating the necessity for our organization. Our volunteers spend hours every year working on membership for the organization making sure that we have enough twigs in our group to ensure that we will not break. I hope we become better at showcasing our value as an organization so that members are not just supporters of the organization, but advocates for it as well.
I look forward to what we can achieve moving forward. If you have any thoughts or comments please contact me at any time.
Written by: Douglas Benjamin Lapp, RULE XVIII. Doug lives in Chester County and works on his families farm. Doug is active within the Chester/Delaware County Farm Bureau as well as the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau