Sustainable agriculture and forestry demonstration project

2004 Annual Report for ONE03-010

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2003: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $22,555.50
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Kimberlee Moninger
Sustaining Greene County

Sustainable agriculture and forestry demonstration project


From its inception, Sustaining Greene County (SGC) was committed to establishing a centrally located demonstration farm to showcase sustainable agriculture and forestry practices to landowners throughout Greene County and the surrounding region. SGC representatives approached local mining interests with a proposal to establish a long term demonstration project on a farmstead currently owned by mining interests. Consol Energy responded by offering use of a 66 acre tract situated in Wayne Township, and a ten year lease establishing Tally Hollow Farm was signed in September 2004. The topography of Tally Hollow Farm is typical of much of Greene County with moderate to severely sloping fields and woodlands. Out of production since the early 80’s, most of the outbuildings had fallen in to disrepair but one building and the farmhouse could be made usable again. The remainder of the outbuildings have been dismantled and all salvageable wood stacked for reuse on site.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Free Range/Pastured Poultry Project
Approximately ten acres of the farm are remnants of meadows and pastures in the beginning or intermediate stages of succession back into woodland. These areas will be used to demonstrate free range and pastured poultry production, rotational grazing of livestock, properly installed agricultural crossing(s), and periodic stream water quality sampling. Small crop production will be incorporated as part of the poultry rotation in 2006.

Forestry Project
With the help of project consultants, the wooded area (56 acres) has been inventoried and evaluated and a comprehensive sustainable woodlot stewardship plan is being written. In its final form the plan will feature a minimum of five demonstration plots (minimum 1 acre each) which will showcase forestry best management practices, use of herbicides to thin undesirable species, the detrimental effects of woodlot grazing, illumination cutting of the timber canopy, and other forestry practices.

Outreach and Education
SGC with the help of volunteers and consultants is compiling materials and photographs suitable for use with a traveling display, and portable outdoor classrooms have been purchased. A strong working relationship has been established with the Waynesburg Central High School Vocational Agriculture/FFA program, and a core group of students has been working in support of our project. Two events were hosted on site in 2004, a good start in meeting our goal of reaching 100 landowners.


Forestry Project
Site inventory and evaluation complete
Write forestry plan (consultants) completed by Feb. 2005
Demonstration sites
Improved stream crossing complete
Installation of timber bridge proposed, start spring 2005
Re-establish riparian buffer spring-summer 2005
Best management practices completed by Dec. 2005
Woodlot grazing completed by July 2005
Proper woodlot herbicide use completed by July 2005
Illumination cut proposed, completed by Dec. 2005
Protection of identified endangered species ongoing, formal plan by June 2005
Establish sugar camp proposed, in planning stage
Purchase outdoor classrooms completed

Free Range Poultry Project
Secure funding received October 2004
Poultry housing completed April 2004
Construct poultry pens first quarter 2005
Set up/identify processing facility first quarter 2005
Brooding and production April-October 2005
Retail processed product June-November 2005
Small crop production Spring 2006

Outreach and Education
Professionally designed display purchased
Web site design March 2005
Host 5 field day events 2 completed
1 spring 2005
1 summer 2005
1 fall 2005
Identify core group of students completed
Strengthen ties to local FFA program completed

Site maintenance
Obtain maintenance equipment completed
Raze/Remove unsafe structures completed
Architect inspection completed
Obtain bids for house maintenance/repair completed
Remove unsafe porch completed
Electric service completed
Telephone service December 2004
Replace footbridge completed
Level/repair smokehouse completed by Aug 2005
Layout/install fencing Jan-June 2005

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

While we have made significant progress, reliance upon grant funding has caused significant change in our timeline. Funds allocated were crucial to to the start up of the poultry project and to some degree the forestry project, and due to circumstances beyond our control these funds were late in arriving.
We are pleased to say that the funding did arrive; however it was too late for the 2004 growing season. We are grateful to SARE for allowing us to extend our contract deadline 12 month.

Partners and Friends
Consol Energy
Rep. H. William DeWeese
Sen. J. Barry Stout
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education-University of Vermont
Appalachian Hardwood Center of West Virginia University
Natural Resources Conservation Service
California University of Pennsylvania
Greene County Conservation District
Greene County Watershed Alliance
Canaan Valley Institute
Sustainable Forestry Initiative of Pennsylvania
Waynesburg Central High School Vocational Agriculture/FFA Program
Young Preservationist’s Association of Pittsburgh
Waynesburg College student volunteers