Tomorrow (Nov. 10) at 1 p.m., Penn State Cooperative Extension will host a web-based seminar examining how Marcellus shale natural gas development is affecting agriculture in Pennsylvania. If you have a computer, anyone from any state can tap into it.
The 75-minute webinar will be presented by Gary Sheppard and Mark Madden, Extension educators in Westmoreland and Sullivan counties, respectively. They are on the front line in western and northern Pennsylvania where natural gas drilling is booming.
Sheppard will explore the impact natural gas wells have on farms from four perspectives – financial, family, farmstead and social. "I'll discuss some planning considerations for the business and highlight assistance available from organizations such as USDA's Farm Service Agency and from resources such as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement and Farmland Preservation programs." Sheppard also will touch on how some farmers who are embracing holistic concepts of sustainability are struggling to decide how Marcellus shale drilling fits into their values.
Madden will review several case studies of farmers and farms near Marcellus gas-drilling operations. "I want to capture some of the personal considerations and choices farmers are dealing with," he notes.
You must be pre-registered
If you aren't already pre-registered as a "Friend of Penn State", you'll need to establish your digital identity account to access the webinar. Go to fps.psu.edu/mkuser/. Once pre-registered, you can print out directions for tapping into the session.
For more information about the webinar, contact John Turack, Extension educator in Westmoreland County, at 724-837-1402 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The webinar is part of a series of online workshops addressing opportunities and challenges related to the state's Marcellus shale gas boom. Titles of upcoming monthly webinars include "Natural Gas Development's Impact on Forestlands," "Seismic Testing: What's It All About?" "Transportation Patterns and Impacts from Marcellus Development," and "Municipalities' Roles, Water Use, and Protections."
Previous webinars, publications and information on topics such as air pollution from gas development; the gas boom's effect on landfills; water use and quality; zoning; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; implications for local communities; gas pipelines and right-of-way issues; and legal issues surrounding gas development also are available on the Penn State Extension natural-gas website extension.psu.edu/naturalgas.