Community Briefs 1/17/22

January 17, 2022
Agricultural producers study responses due Jan. 18

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is conducting the 2021 Farm Producer Study to improve knowledge and understanding of agricultural producers and help USDA improve services to them. A brief questionnaire has been mailed to approximately 75,000 U.S. agricultural producers across the country. Taking no more than 10 minutes to complete, the questionnaire asks participants for demographic and basic farm information. Producers can respond securely online at or by mail. The deadline for response is Tuesday, Jan. 18.

“Participation in this study is voluntary yet vital,” said Barbara Rater, Census and Survey Division director. “The results of the study may lead to more robust demographic data products to assist other federal agencies, state and local governments, researchers, and analysts in administering and monitoring program effectiveness for the optimal support of diversity within American agriculture.”

First State Antique Tractor Club to meet Jan. 18

The regular meeting of the First State Antique Tractor Club will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, at the Greenwood VFW on the corner of Governors Avenue and Mill Street in Greenwood. The annual show committee will meet at 6:30 p.m, in advance of the regular meeting. Plans for the 2022 annual show will be discussed in addition to new club business. Light refreshments will be served. The club is always looking for new members. To learn more, go to or contact Maralene Givens at 302-228-2674 or

Regenerative agriculture and soil health workshop set Jan. 18

A hybrid caffeine and cover crops event will be held from 8 to 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18. Jeremiah Durbin, owner of Sustainable Legacy Consulting and a Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts soil health specialist, will join virtually to discuss regenerative agriculture and how to build soil health without livestock. This event is free, and preregistration is required to attend virtually or in person.

“We are excited to offer a hybrid caffeine and cover crops breakfast this year. Although the presenter will be virtual, we look forward to promoting farmer-led discussions with in-person and virtual guests,” said Debbie Absher, director of agricultural programs at Sussex Conservation District.

Virtual attendees will receive the event link upon registration. Limited in-person seating will be available at the Vanderwende-Evans Conservation Center in Georgetown, and light refreshments will be served.

This event is presented by the Delaware Soil Health Partnership, Sussex Conservation District and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

To learn more or to register, go to or call Siobhan Kelley, SCD communications and outreach specialist, at 302-856-2105, Ext. 122.

South Coastal Delaware AARP to meet Jan. 18

The South Coastal Delaware AARP chapter is seeking new members from southeastern Sussex County.

The chapter holds monthly luncheons with special speakers, performs community service activities, sponsors day trips and overnight tours, supports legislative efforts that benefit older citizens, sponsors a 45-member chorus, and raises money for scholarships for Indian River High School and Delaware Technical Community College adult students.

The next monthly luncheon will be Tuesday, Jan. 18. To register and for more information on membership, contact Dottie Rieck at 302-539-2654.

Maryland-Delaware Forage Conferences to start Jan. 18

University of Maryland Extension, University of Delaware Extension, and the Maryland-Delaware Forage Council invite forage producers, grazers, livestock owners and associated industry personnel to attend the upcoming Maryland-Delaware Forage Conferences in January.

This year’s conferences will use a hybrid format with two in-person and two virtual options. Conference dates and locations are as follows: Southern Maryland, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, in Prince Frederick, Md.; Central Maryland, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19, in Middletown, Md.; virtual, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 25, via Zoom; and virtual, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27, via Zoom.

Registration is required. CCA, Nutrient Management, and Private Pesticide Applicator Credits will be offered at each session. To learn more and to register, go to For assistance or accommodations, contact Amanda Grev at or 301-432-2767, Ext. 339.

Agricultural conservation partner funding webinar set Jan. 20

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced up to $225 million in available funding for conservation partners through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

A webinar with general program information for RCPP applicants is scheduled for 3 to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 20. To learn more, go to

The partner-driven program leverages collective resources to find solutions to address natural resource challenges on agricultural land. This year’s funding announcements include opportunities for projects that address climate change, benefit historically underserved producers and support urban agriculture.

“We’re harnessing the power of partnership to create lasting solutions to global challenges, like climate change, and support producers and communities who have been underserved in the past,” said Terry Cosby, chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Partners are expected to offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding in an amount equal to or greater than the NRCS investment.

Funding is open to agriculture and silviculture associations, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, conservation districts and universities, among others.

Magic Duel at Milton Theatre Jan. 21

The Milton Theater will host A Magic Duel with Mark Phillips and Ryan Phillips, who are not related, in a battle for the title of best magician. The show is set for 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 21. Full of seriously funny magic, the show involves the audience from start to finish. To learn more or purchase tickets, go to or call 302-684-3038.

Overfalls Foundation to meet Jan. 21

The Overfalls Foundation will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 21, via Zoom. Presenting at the meeting will be Allison Rogerson, an environmental scientist with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship. She will be sharing information about the new Lewes-Rehoboth Canal project and what DNREC is doing. For details on joining the session, go to

Proposed safety rule changes for produce farmers is Jan. 21 topic

The Food and Drug Administration published a proposed rule change Dec. 6, to amend the agricultural water requirements of the Produce Safety Rule.

In response to the proposed change, the Delaware Department of Agriculture and University of Delaware Cooperative Extension will host two outreach sessions at 8:30 a.m., and 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 21,  to engage farmers and other stakeholders.

The Produce Safety Rule was signed into law in 2011 as part of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act. FDA’s proposed rule amends the pre-harvest agricultural water requirements for covered produce other than sprouts previously established in Subpart E of the Produce Safety Rule.

In the proposed rule, previous pre-harvest water microbial quality criteria and testing requirements are proposed to be replaced with more flexible requirements for pre-harvest agricultural water assessments. These assessments are designed to be more feasible to implement across various agricultural systems.

The two sessions scheduled for Jan. 21 in Delaware will detail the proposed changes to the rule. Producers and stakeholders will learn best practices to write and submit questions and public comments to the FDA and participate in open discussions.

To register, go to To learn more, email

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter