HERSHEY, PA — Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s (PFB) Women’s Leadership Committee has selected Marie Canon of Mercer County as the recipient of the Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award during the state’s largest farm organization’s 68th Annual Meeting in Hershey.
Canon, who is an active worker on the family dairy and crop farm in West Middlesex, is being recognized for sharing her knowledge and skills with others and her decades of outreach to the public through her promotion of agriculture and her long history of opening the barn doors for visits by school children and residents of the local community.
“I’ve always enjoyed having children on the farm, showing them how we care for our baby calves and cows, how dairy barns are designed for the comfort of our animals, how much it takes to feed the cows and how overall cow comfort helps us produce more milk,” said Marie Canon. “In addition, the kids absolutely love seeing the cows being milked by our robots.”
Canon has hosted school children on the family farm for the past 27 years, reaching more than 1,000 children. She is a member of the Pennsylvania State Dairy Promotion Board and an active member of PFB’s Ag Promotion Committee. Canon participates in a wide variety of activities with the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation, including assisting with the Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab during a local community food bank visit and participating as a reader to hundreds of primary school students as part of PFB’s Ag Literacy Week. Canon also demonstrated robotic technology in front of about 125 representatives from the county and local schools during a Chamber of Commerce event called TechBrek. Canon’s farm was the first in Mercer County to use a robotic milking machine for their dairy cows.
“People constantly refer to Marie’s proactive and can-do attitude and her love of talking with school children about farm life and food production,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “Marie is involved in every aspect of the farm and believes in sharing her experience and knowledge with others through her ‘Pass it Along’ vision. With her many years of service to her community and her generous personality, I’m proud to recognize Marie with Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award.”
Canon’s family farm has hosted numerous farm tours over the years, including Mercer County Farm Bureau’s “2017 Brunch on the Farm.” After having brunch in a nearby park, dozens of attendees were transported to her farm to interact with five agricultural education stations.
“Brunch on the Farm was a huge success as we welcomed nearly 500 people onto our property. The visitors toured our dairy barn, saw how the robotic milking machine works, learned about how we manage manure produced by our cows, learned what goes in to feeding our animals and much more. Agriculture education is the key and we were able to expose a large group of people in our community to what it takes to operate a dairy farm and what goes into producing milk for their consumption,” concluded Canon.
Hundreds of farmers from across the state attended Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 68th Annual Meeting from Nov. 12-14, to set policy for the statewide organization on issues affecting farm and rural families.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.