What we at the Venango Conservation District call the “Polk Farm” is land owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that was once working farmland. Students of what was originally known as the State Institution for Feeble-minded of Western Pennsylvania established in 1893 worked to learn manual dexterity. Students cleared stones and brush, grew crops and cared for livestock.
Eventually the school discontinued farming the property. The Venango Conservation District entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commonwealth to manage 450 acres of school land. Thanks to our cooperator, Sandy Valley Farms, this property has been transformed back into a working farm.
Modern farming practices such as no-till planting, contour strips and vegetative buffers are utilized. A great benefit of the farm is the opportunity to showcase these practices as an educational tool. The VCD sponsors a field day event on a regular basis where the public is invited to learn more about land management and conservation practices.
We’ll be holding a Field Day event on Thursday September 17th 2015.