News from the fields, farms and beyond…

If you are a college student, a graduating senior or the parent of either pay close attention to this week’s AgriCulture column. There are several scholarship programs listed.

A new scholarship is available through the Cecil College Foundation aimed at helping young farmers in their study of agriculture.

The Clarence M. Webb Jr. Memorial Scholarship, endowed by an anonymous benefactor, is in homage to Webb who was the farm manager for Robert “Ruly” Carpenter in the 1920s and 30s. Carpenter was owner of the Philadelphia Phillies and a Dupont executive whose farm fronted the Bohemia River.

During World War II Webb served as a US Deputy Game Warden, but also opened and was president of United Paving Co. until he died in 1994. In his lifetime Webb also was past president of the Elkton Lions Club and Elkton Chamber of Commerce. He was also a well-known hunter and conservationist.

To apply go to cecil.edu/foundation. There’s one form to fill out for all the scholarships offered by the college foundation.

Deadline is April 30.

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If you are curious about beekeeping as a hobby let Bohemia Apiary in Warwick help you with its Rent-a-Hive program.

Jason Crook started the program quietly last year with four students. He found that other apiarists were doing it so he started his own. It worked so well that he’s inviting new students now.

For $250 you get a brood box and your own colony of bees to raise at Bohemia Apiary. However the most important part is that Crook will mentor you including at least six educations sessions working with your hive and learning about beekeeping.

“They come over and I walk them through what to look for, what not to look for and swarm management,” Crook said Thursday. “They will track growth and the health of their hive.”

For that first year the hive stays at Bohemia Apiary. In year two the hive can stay there or — if there is a level of confidence — move the hive to your own location.

Crook cautions those new to the hobby against going overboard with equipment. He said there is a lot of information available and it can get overwhelming.

“What I’ve found is that people are stumbling into the hobby,” he said. “If you’re going online and buying everything you think you need it’s expensive,” he said, adding a full hive set up can go as high as $500.

“I have all the tools you need out of the gate,” Crook said. That includes the protective equipment. “I have jackets. Try mine. Then after awhile maybe you’ll want your own.”

“If you’re interested let me help you be successful,” Crook said simply.

He suggests that hives start by June for the bees to have access to pollinating and nectar.

Crook started beekeeping as a hobby. Now he manages more than 40 hives. He also recently expanded his extraction room and makes it available to others to get the honey from their hives.

He’ll also come out and remove a swarm from your property. That happens when a hive gets overcrowded and the excess are forced out.

“Swarms happen. I’ll rescue them no charge,” he said. “You want to get them before they decide to take the swarm in your house.”

Search virtually any social media platform for Bohemia Bees to connect to Crook and Bohemia Apiary.

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Classroom grants up to $500 are available to K-12 teachers through the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation “Kids in The Garden” program.

Applications are due by Feb. 28.

Regardless of how you interact with your students — virtual, classroom, at home or hybrid — the grant makes gardening kits available with the goal of getting your students to play in the dirt, explore horticulture and ag careers.

To apply, or for more information on Kids In The Garden go to maefonline.com and look for the grants and teacher awards link under the educators tab.

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Both the Cecil County and Maryland Farm Bureaus have scholarships to offer college students in Farm Bureau households.

The state bureau has five $2,000 prizes to be awarded. Along with the application, which can be found at https://app.reviewr.com/s1/site/MarylandFB_Scholarships21 applicants must also complete an essay answering this question: The increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters creates additional risk for farmers and ranchers. What tools and production practices can be engaged to reduce climate and weather risks?

The deadline for the Maryland Farm Bureau scholarship is March 15.

Cecil County Farm Bureau has two scholarships. Both can be accessed at http://www.mdfarmbureau.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020-Cecil-County-Farm-Bureau-Scholarships.doc.pdf

The Ray Mueller Scholarship is based on need, grades, and extracurricular activities at school and in the community. Students pursuing this cash award must be in an ag field of study.

The Steve Carson Young Farmers Scholarship focuses on students with 4-H experience along with needs, grades and extracurricular activities. Any field of study is eligible.

Cecil County Farm Bureau has an April 20 deadline for its scholarship applications.

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The University of Maryland Extension/Agriculture and Food Systems Virtual Winter Agronomy Meeting is Feb. 26 from 8 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.

Topics include updates on pesticide litigation, Maryland Department of Agriculture pesticide, herbicides and weeds, and MDA nutrient management.

Other topics: nitrogen management with cover crops, critical nutrient levels in corn tissue tests and precision management in an imprecise world will be discussed.

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Future Harvest CASA is offering a Feb. 9 seminar called “Water Water Everywhere!

The two-hour virtual session looks at water sources, resources and food safety. This is especially vital for those growing fruits and vegetables for sale.

This session is being offered in collaboration with Chesapeake Harvest and the Million Acre Challenge and includes a visit to Dicot Farm in Waldorf, Md. Farmers Erik and Meghan will discuss how food safety has driven their operation.

Water Water Everywhere! is a free seminar but donations are encouraged to support future programming.

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Middle school teachers interested in weaving agriculture into their curriculums can take an 8-week course from Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation beginning March 29.

Course highlights for ”Infusing Agriculture in the Middle School Classroom” include presentations and lectures from field experts, lessons in food science, careers, aquaculture, ag-innovation, conservations and sustainability as well as suggestions for what materials to use in the classroom. Upon completion teachers will earn three continuing professional development credits from the Maryland State Department of Education.

The cost per teacher is $135. Go to maefonline.com for details and registration.

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Go behind the scenes at Springton Manor Farm in Glenmoore, Pa. and see how what is now a Chester County Park has been a working farm since the early 1700s.

Now its 300 acres function as a source for the Chester County Food Bank, growing vegetables and providing meats for those in need. But the park also has a collection of domesticated and wild animals to visit, walking trails and catch-and-release fishing.

Chester County Library is hosting this virtual event Feb. 25 from 7 until 8 p.m. to tour the farm. Slots are limited so register soon at https://ccls.libcal.com/event/7510270

If you have a farm related event, idea or story you’d like to share in AgriCulture contact Jane Bellmyer at jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com or 443-245-5007.

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