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Blessing of the Balers in Lenhartsville prayed for safe, productive planting season

LENHARTSVILLE — A group of farmers gathered outside C.J. Hummels Restaurant in Lenhartsville on Wednesday morning, March 6, for the Blessing of the Balers to pray for a safe, productive and prosperous planting season.

State Rep. Jamie Barton (R-Berks/Schuylkill) hosted a breakfast afterward for the 124th Legislative District’s farmers to show Berks and Schuylkill counties’ appreciation for their hard work to help put food on our tables.

“Agriculture is the biggest industry in our Commonwealth,” Barton said in a statement. “The farmers at our event work a few of more than 50,000 farms in Pennsylvania. They don’t just feed our counties, or even our Commonwealth. They help feed the whole country. It’s only fair that for once, I help put some food on their plates, and share some good fellowship with them.”



The event opened with the Blessing of the Balers led by Jeff Johnson of St. John’s United Church of Christ in Orwigsburg.

“The pastor from my church in Orwigsburg led the blessing and asked us all to place our hands on the balers while we prayed, a practice called the laying of the hands,” said Barton. “We weren’t just blessing the equipment, we were blessing all farmers and their families, and praying for their safety as they embark on a new planting season. It was a moving moment for me, and I think many of our farmers felt the same.”

About 40 people attended the event. The attendees came from across the majority of the 124th Legislative District, including Hamburg, Kutztown, Tamaqua, Bernville and Fleetwood.

“I wanted to get all the farmers of the 124th Legislative District together to pray for a safe and successful growing and harvest season,” said Barton. “But beyond that, it was an opportunity for me to introduce myself to our area’s agriculture workers and let them know that I’m here to be their voice in Harrisburg. I wanted to hear about the challenges they face and see if there’s anything I can do to help.”

Following the Blessing of the Balers, Barton and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Lisa Graybeal addressed the group of farmers. There was also an opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session.

“I think we had a great turnout for our first Blessing of the Balers,” Barton said. “We had dozens of agriculture workers join us from across the district. I think it was incredibly well-received, and everyone seemed to be engaged during our question-and-answer session.”

The event concluded with an appreciation breakfast.

“We also had a hot meal prepared to show them how much the rest of us appreciate all the hard work they do to put food on our tables,” he said.

Barton said he really enjoyed getting the chance to shake the hands of the men and women who feed our communities.

“I don’t think the rest of us can say enough how much we appreciate all that they do,” he said.

He hopes that each and every farmer in attendance left with a better sense of what’s going on in Harrisburg, and more importantly, got the chance to speak with some of their fellow farmers.

“Our agriculture workers spend so much time working on their own farms that there aren’t many chances to talk shop with one another. By sharing each other’s best practices, I hope our farmers will be able to learn from one another to improve their own process,” said Barton.

Offering a message to farmers, Barton said: “My staff and I are here to help them navigate state-related issues, and I hope that everyone who attended will not hesitate to contact my office whenever we can lend a hand.”

To contact Rep. Barton’s district office, call at 484-660-3721 or visit

Source: Berkshire mont

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