Don Carter, second from left, has built relationships with
local officials including the Washington County commissioners.
Tell us about your agriculture background.
What is your current connection with agriculture?
I have an extensive agriculture background. I grew up on my family's dairy farm here in the county. I am the third generation to help work on the farm that is currently owned by my father and brother. They farm the 80 acres on the home farm, along with 16 acres on my uncle’s beef/hay farm and 140 acres on two neighboring farms. They are currently using a corn, soybean, hay and small grain rotation. I also had an uncle who was an agriculture teacher for 32 years at the Fort Cherry High School and advised the H.G Parkinson FFA Chapter. I have an uncle that was a D.H.I.A. milk tester in the Washington and Lancaster County areas for over 50 years. I also have several relatives that are/were directly involved in agriculture. I am currently a full-time employee of the Chet Whelpley Agway store group in Washington, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties and work part time on the farm.
You are the Member Services Coordinator for Washington County.
What does the position entail?
The position allows me to secure extra benefits for the members not only in Washington County, but also the counties where our owner’s stores are located. When the opportunity presents itself, I will ask a business about offering all our members discounts. For the past several years, you have spearheaded a food drive for the county food bank. Why did you get involved in that project and what do you like about it? For the past several years Washington County has worked with the Greater Washington County Food Bank to conduct our annual food drive. John Sargent was the president of our Farm Bureau board when we decided to switch from supporting the Ronald McDonald House in Pittsburgh to Greater Washington County Food Bank. It gives us the opportunity to have a local impact. I was on the board when John asked to develop the new opportunity. I have enjoyed the challenge of trying to increase the donations in each of the yearly food drives.
What kind of relationships has Washington County Farm Bureau
built through the program with the food bank?
We have developed many positive connections through the food drive. For the past six years we have challenged all of the 4-H clubs to collect for the drive. This year we challenged all of the county libraries to collect as well. The top collecting 4-H club and libraries received a monetary prize. We approached several local agriculture and non-agriculture businesses to help fund this year’s drive. This year, for the first time, we had participation from one of the FFA Chapters and some of the school districts in the county. Our county commissionerschallenged all of the departments in the county to collect for the food drive. We also emailed the information about the drive to the local, county, state and federal politicians. Each of the offices posted information about the drive on their web sites. They also stopped at our booth at Ag Days at the Mall during National Ag Week. By handling the food drive in this manner, we have been able to develop a good positive working relationship with our agriculture organizations, libraries, schools, and local, state and federal politicians.
Are you optimistic about the future of agriculture?
Yes, I am very optimistic about the future of agriculture. My niece just received the Greenhand degree at a banquet of the Fort Cherry/H. G. Parkinson FFA Chapter. There are three other reasons for an optimistic future and they are breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Lastly, why are you a Farm Bureau member?
We need to have an organization that is going to stand up for and promote agriculture on the local, state and federal levels.