• John Vogel

    Chesapeake Bay Ag's Dirty Little Secret

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 23, 2012

     During a skull session at Penn State College of Ag Science’s recent Ag Council meeting, water quality and quantity was voted by ag industry participants as top priority issues for Extension educational outreach efforts. Then, thanks to Matt Ehrhart, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Pennsylvania office, the “dam” broke. Small-scale farmers – not the medium-sized or large-scale farmers – are largely the ones impeding progress in…

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  • John Vogel

    Bead Counters Are Important, But Is This Waste Management?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on March 22, 2012

     I guess there are a lot of folks with more time than they know what to do with. But I certainly haven’t met any who are active farmers. This week, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection proudly announced that the Pennsylvania-Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup set a 2011 record for volunteers removing trash and debris from Lake Erie shorelines and tributaries. So you don’t get the wrong impression, that’s a good thing! I’m all for waste…

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  • John Vogel

    Hot Air Rising In Marcellus Gas Controversy

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 9, 2011

      This week’s reactions to U.S. EPA’s report of Wyoming’s groundwater contamination by natural gas fracking were swift and volatile. Nowhere is that controversy hotter than in central and western New York State where a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing is still on. Recent hearings held across the Empire State were jam-packed with vociferous anti-frackers every bit as noisy and provocative as the Occupiers of Wall Street. The Wyoming case is sure to add to the…

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  • John Vogel

    Gas Leasing Still 'Hot' Topic

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on March 3, 2010

    While a snowstorm slowed things down in central New York, it didn’t deter a lot of people from coming to the natural gas mini-seminar at the New York Farm Show.   While the main speakers were snow-bound in Ithaca, plenty of landowners showed up and shared their experiences of what’s going on in New York and Pennsylvania. And much is going on.   Land men are still trying to steal gas, oil and mineral rights. Gas drillers are causing water quality and improper chemical waste handling problems…

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  • John Vogel

    Economic Aftershocks To Shake Agriculture

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on July 14, 2009

    At last week’s 25 x 25 forum, I asked a long-time Ag Department employee, “Still got a job?” Smiling, he gave me his crossed fingers “luck” sign. He’s one of the luckier ones.   That same day, workers at a county Soil and Water Conservation District office got the word that they were being layed off – at least temporarily. In Pennsylvania, each round of the state’s budgetary battle brought a new round of lay-offs and budget slashing at many levels.   All across America, I’m hearing of…

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  • John Vogel

    How We've Changed!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 12, 2009

    Last week, while driving before sun-up, I looked across country – if it can still be called “country” today – at all the lights: House lights, yard lights, street lights, ball field lights, parking lot lights, sign lights, you-name-it lights.   If you listen closely, you can almost hear billions of electric motors and power generators humming as they pump out gazillions of mega-watts to light our world. And if you could take a spin around Mother Earth, you’d be awestruck by the light being…

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