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Focus on the future at Wayne County Ag Day

Agriculture is an important part of our everyday lives and farmers in Wayne County want to make sure we're reminded of it.

HONESDALE, Pa. — Farmers gathered inside the gymnasium at Honesdale High School to educate those who came to learn more.

"We have our kids here from FFA, we have our older farmers here who come to network, we have all the ancillary businesses that feed those farmers what they need: feed for their cows, seed for their fields," said farmer and Wayne County Commissioner Brian Smith.

Smith says in order for farming to sustain itself, the younger generations have to learn to flourish and adapt in a changing world.

The Future Farmers of America chapter is in its third year at Honesdale and is already taking major steps toward progress.

"All of your food that you get at the grocery store comes from farmers and ag, so since we have our new greenhouse now, we have hydroponics which we're growing new foods. We just harvested lettuce," said sophomore Allison Billard.

The loss of farms is felt here at Ag Days and Wayne County officials are hoping a feasibility study to put a dairy processing plant here will help those remaining farms sustain.

"We think there's a good potential for this and we're going to get to that answer. When we get to that answer, assuming that there's something that's feasible, and we believe there is, we're going to do a business plan for that," said Tom Shepstone of Shepstone Management Agency.

The county received grant money from the USDA Rural Development to determine whether or not a dairy processing plant would benefit dairy farms in the area.

"We're very fortunate in that we have a county that's very pro-agriculture. We have a county farm, which could be a potential site, we have some other grants that we think we're going to get," Shepstone said.

Those attending also got to sit in on a presentation from the Wayne County commissioners about the study and other agricultural concerns that affect the county.