PENNSYLVANIA, Westmoreland CD – Westmoreland Conservation District will head into the woods, figuratively, Thursday as it presents its annual conservation awards to a local couple who are reviving wooded acreage on Chestnut Ridge and to a nonprofit organization that supports such efforts.
Lewis and Kate Lobdell will be honored as the 2019 Conservation Farmers of the Year, recognizing that their work on more than 500 acres spanning parts of Unity, Ligonier and Cook townships involves management of trees and the wildlife that rely on them, rather than traditional crops and livestock.
Tree farming is agriculture as well.
The Westmoreland Woodlands Improvement Association, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will be honored as the J. Roy Houston Conservation Partner during the evening ceremony at the conservation district headquarters on Donohoe Road in Hempfield. The association offers its nearly 100 members, as well as the general public, workshops that help private owners take care of forests and woodlots. It also organizes field trips to show forest management practices in action.
Tony Quadro, assistant district manager and forester for the Conservation District, has worked with the Lobdells on their forest management plan. He said recognition of the Lobdells underlines the fact that “tree farming is agriculture as well. Over the past 15 to 20 years, they’ve done a lot of work on their property.”