Munnell Farm from Mercer County Plans to Develop Regional Agricultural Education
Mercer County
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“Mercer County is the only county in the state that doesn’t have agricultural curriculum in its schools or career center,’’ Mercer County Commissioner Tim McGonigle said. “We want to see our children exposed to agriculture and the environment.”

According to him, the county is trying to get a state grant worth at least $1.5 million so that it can rebuild a structure at Munnell Run Farm in Coolspring Township. The 163-acre farm has been owned by the county for more than a century. Jay Russell is the manager of the Mercer County Conservation District, which runs it.

“We hold educational and workshops for those involved with agriculture, like pasture management,’’ Russell said.

There was a workshop on managing streams on private property at another event.
He said that a group of neighbourhood third graders is anticipated, and they will learn about agriculture and have a tour of the farm. According to Russell, Mercer County ranks in the top 25 of the 67 counties in the state for agricultural production. The farm has a number of buildings with different uses, including a fish hatchery run by the local Trout Unlimited chapter, a non-profit organization. The Fish and Boat Commission of the state receives the fish raised by the group and releases them into rivers and streams.

“A few of them visit Buhl Park’s Lake Julia,” Russell remarked. The farm’s aquifers are tapped dry to provide water for the hatchery. McGonigle stated, “People tell us we have the best water for a hatchery.” On this particular day, the Mercer County Spinners and Weavers Guild was gathering to weave baskets at a farm building. In 1971, the band was established. The group’s secretary, Bonnie Massing, laughed and remarked, “We’re amateurs.” “Hopefully, each of us brings a basket home.”

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