Pennsylvania Agriculture Tours

100_3888Tours featuring biosecurity, emergency response, various disposal methods, decontamination, depopulation and the progressive agriculture of Lancaster County are scheduled for Monday, Sept. 28. All tours will leave from the hotel and will end with a unique tour of an in-vessel composter at a dairy and poultry facility and dinner in rural Pennsylvania to network and review your experiences from each of the tours.

Livestock Collection Point, Livestock Truck Sanitation and In-vessel Mortality Composting (Northeast)

This tour will visit a hog buying station that sorts hogs into group lots for remarketing. This operation will explain how they handle mortality onsite and the importance of the onsite truck wash station for bio-security. This type of station is critical for the livestock trucking business. Participants will also visit a facility to that has an in-vessel composter and will learn how it fits into the operation’s management plans. This tour will also feature a stop at the New Holland Livestock Auction, one of the largest livestock auctions on the east coast. On any sale day, nearly 2,000 sheep, 1,000 goats and 1,000 cattle may be sold.   Lastly, the group will tour a 450 dairy cow operation that hosts public tours to help improve consumers understanding of today’s agriculture. The dairy manages their composting through a partnership with commercial composting operation, Terra-Gro. Participants will have the opportunity to see this facility and learn more about the importance of partnership in composting solutions.

Anaerobic Digestion, Composting, Egg Production and Public Relations (North)

Participants will be able to view a large commercial truck wash and commercial poultry crate wash which is important for bio-security in the livestock industry. This facility also houses the Lancaster County de-foamer for use in depopulation, which is on standby for any county agriculture emergency. The tour will feature a dairy and poultry operation that manages more than 2,500 acres of cropland, 6 million egg-laying chickens, 2,000 dairy cows, a milk bottling and ice cream plant, and a public farm tour program. At this stop participants will learn the importance bio-security and emergency response to disease outbreak and prevention. The third stop will include a compost facility that uses farm manure, yard waste, and other organics to make compost (humus) and compost tea.  At the site, fleece blankets are used to cover active compost to prevent nutrient loss.

Poultry Truck Wash, Beef Feedlot, Mortality Management, Anaerobic Digestion (West)

Participants on this tour will view a truck wash used exclusively for poultry trucks. This system is critical for the health of people and animals involved in this operation. The tour will also feature a farm with beef feedlot that uses daily temperature monitoring, a gravity separator and windrow static piles constructed with a woodchip base to manage their mortality. Explore a 950 cow dairy facility that uses some of the latest technology to manage their manure and mortalities. One of their solutions enables their farm to produce enough electricity to run the entire farm and 200 of their neighbor’s houses. Participants will visit their mortality shed and learn more about large-scale poultry and cattle mortality management options in the area.