Penn Cove Grange encourages chickens for fun

The newly formed Penn Cove Grange is hosting a series of of workshops to address a number of agricultural issues.

The workshops continue through the summer.

“The Penn Cove Grange wants to provide people with information, networking possibilities, and available resources to become involved in agricultural pursuits for business or pleasure here in Central Whidbey,” said MarkliAnn Johnston, president of the Penn Cove Grange.

All workshops begin at 7 p.m. at the Pacific Rim Institute on Parker Road near Coupeville.

The workshops are as follows:

• Chickens for Food and Fun: Wednesday, May 19. Stinger Anderson will speak about chickens. He serves as a 4-H poultry club teacher and superintendent of poultry at the Island County Fair as well as teaching poultry classes himself. Anderson raises Red Cornish Chickens as an alternative to hybrid chickens that dominate the supermarket.

• Sustainable Agriculture, “The Triple Bottom Line”: Wednesday, June 16. Dr. Ronald Vos will speak. While people in production agriculture have always been concerned with profitability, a concept has gained popularity in the last two decades called sustainable agriculture. Along with profitability comes the concepts of social justice and environmental awareness in agriculture. Vos has been a professor of agriculture at Dordt College since 1985.

• Panel Talks Sheep: Wednesday, July 14. A sheep farmer panel will share their experience and knowledge for various uses of sheep including dairy, meat and fiber. Many breeds and local flocks will be highlighted.

• Human Dimensions of Colony Collapse Disorder and its Impact on the Honey Bee: Wednesday, Sept. 15, Tim Lawrence, new director of WSU, Island County Extension will address colony collapse disorder. This will be an overview of the honey bee industry, agricultural systems, diseases and pest control mechanisms, and how these are contributing to the decline in honey bee populations.

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