Tractor/machinery safety certification announced

MERCER — The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Safety Certification Program will be offered again in 2009. To comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, youth between the ages of 14 and 16 must be certified to operate farm tractors and certain machinery on farms other than their parents’.

The course will follow a home-study format. To participate, the youth and one parent or guardian must attend an organizational meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. March 10 in Leslie N. Firth Learning Center, U.S. Route 19, north of Mercer in Coolspring Township.

To complete the certification process, participants must complete a series of task sheets, pass a written test and a skills examination, and successfully complete a tractor-driving test in early June. Fee for the program is $10. 

Registration deadline is Friday. Call Mercer County Cooperative Extension, 724-662-3141, ext. 303.

Conservation District has annual seedling sale

MERCER COUNTY — Mercer County Conservation District is selling Colorado blue spruce, Norway spruce, concolor fir, Fraser fir, Douglas fir, eastern white pine and Canadian hemlock trees in bundles of ten of each species for $6.25. Also, bundles of five old-fashioned lilac and shadblow serviceberry will be sold for $6.25.

Orders will be taken through March 31, and pickup is scheduled for April 22.

To order, call 724-662-2242 or e-mail mercerccd@verizon .net.

Proceeds support education programs at Munnell Run Farm.

‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’ to be discussed

YOUNGSTOWN — With characteristic poetry and pluck, bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.

Join this naturalist-led discussion of “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” at 1 p.m. Feb. 28 in Ford Nature Center in Millcreek Metroparks. Info: or 330-702-3000 or 330-740-7107

Fellows Riverside Gardens hosting 2 events

YOUNGSTOWN — A grafting expert will share years of grafting experience through demonstrations and slides from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at Fellows Riverside Gardens.

Joe Stupka will demonstrate. A grafted Chinese dogwood, flowering crabapple, or dawn redwood will be given to each participant.

From 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday view highlights of the gardens in winter on a brisk outdoor walk.

Return to the Garden Café to enjoy a light breakfast and learn about members of the tea family such as camellia and stewartia.

Call Fellows Riverside Gardens to register for either program. There are fees.

Jennings Center forum to cover food choices

SLIPPERY ROCK — A forum on food choices is set for 2 p.m. March 8 in Jennings Environmental Education Center, near Slippery Rock.

Those including Jennings’ education staff, Northwest Pennsylvania Growers Cooperative members and others in the business of regional food production will challenge he audience to “take conservation personally” by considering foods they eat.

Info: 724-794-6011.

Local reports

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