Commissioners

Dwayne Hay, 4-H educator with Penn State Extension Bedford County, holds a proclamation alongside, from left, Commissioner Barry Dallara, Erin Cromer, 4-H after school program assistant, Commissioner Alan Frederick, Barbara Mearkle, 4-H after school program assistant, and Commissioner Deb Baughman.

The Bedford County commissioners recognized a century of 4-H programming in the county on Tuesday.

The board made a proclamation during its meeting in honor the milestone.

“We are celebrating 100 years of 4-H in Bedford County,” said Dwayne Hay, a 4-H educator with Penn State Extension office in the county.

The first club program identified in the notes of Bedford County’s first extension agent, L.R. Mollenhaur, describes how a dozen youth met at the Fishertown school.

Hay said the county’s club at the time deviated from traditional procedures a bit.

“Nationally, raising corn was the very first project that was used to draw youth into learning about agriculture,” he said. “But in Bedford County, it was actually milk.”

The youth would bring milk samples from their family farms to the club meetings to be tested for butterfat content using the Babcock Milk Test. A few of the members later demonstrated the test at a state convention.

Mollenhaur was the county’s first extension agent after the commissioners appropriated funding for the program in about 1920, Hay said.

But he wasn’t the first agent in the county. In fact, Hay said, the first field county agent in the nation — A.B. Ross — was headquartered in Schellsburg in 1908. Ross was appointed at the federal level by the USDA’s Office of Farm Management and worked throughout the region.

Hay noted there’s a national plaque honoring Ross located along Route 30 in Schellsburg.

The 4-H programing continues to serve and mentor youth in Bedford County a century after its origins.

There are 21 clubs in the county with more than 230 members. The clubs offer numerous programs designed to educate about the importance of agriculture, including after school nutrition and STEM programs.

In separate action, the commissioners also presented certificate of achievement to the Bedford Fire Department for its recent success during the 129th Central District Firemen’s Association Convention in Schellsburg last month. The department won a number of trophies, including the Larry J. Corbin Memorial Award given to the best overall firefighting organization in the line of the grand parade.

The commissioners also presented a certificate of achievement to Bedford County Children and Youth Services (CYS) for its efforts.

During the regular action portion of the agenda, the board approved:

— An agreement between CYS and Daniel J. DuVall for counseling services.

— A technical services agreement partnership between CYS and the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission.

— Reducing the construction contract cost for the Hyndman Waterline Replacement Phase V project, funded under Community Development Block Grant, from $240,000 to $222,940.

— And energy services contract with Schneider Electric Buildings Americas, effective Aug. 24, for its work on the new courthouse security upgrades.

— A Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Law (LERTA) resolution, which authorizes the county, Bedford Township and the Bedford Area School District to provide tax abatements for certain deteriorated industrial, commercial and other property.

— Jessica Lafferty as a deputy sheriff at $13 per hour.

— Joshua Kunkle, Rush Stigers Jr. and Cierra Domenico as correctional officers at the Bedford County Correctional Facility. Kunkle and Domenico will earn $14 per hour, while Stigers will earn $14.50.

— Joseph Winters as a LPN at the jail at a rate of $22.50 per hour.

— Randi Plummer as a caseworker in CYS at an annual salary of $30,004.

Contact Will DeShong at wdeshong@bedfordgazette.com; 623-1151, ext. 150.

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