Great American Media Services

January 2016

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By Gary Pullano Associate Editor Agriculture will continue to play a major role in the use and management of the world's water supply in future decades. What are the realistic options available for the agriculture sector to help alleviate the potential for a global water crisis exacerbated by climate change and other factors? In order to be able to adequately feed and support the world's growing population, the global economy needs to continue to grow. Water is critical to future growth. But according to most observers, it also can become the major limiting factor to growth, including the long-term vitality of the specialty crop agriculture sector. Growing Blue, a group created by Veolia Water in consultation with the United Nations, Columbia University and water conservation groups, cited an International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) analysis that found 4.8 billion people – more than half the world's population – and approximately half of January 2016 | Volume 50 | Issue 1 Pickles are big business in small North Carolina town Agritainment saves Arizona family farm VGN Celebrates 50 years in 2016 12 16 30-32 FUTURE OF WATER Agriculture assumes huge stake in future water availability GREEN DREAMS Pennsylvania farm weathers ups and downs of green bean market By Matt Milkovich Managing Editor Aer getting married, Ron and Brenda Copenhaver decided to try and make a living growing green beans. ey started with 7 acres that first year, "worked like crazy" – and made about $7,000. "I was like, 'Oh my,'" Ron said. But they decided to stick with it. ey rented equipment from Ron's parents, rented some land – and a few decades later, Copenhaver Produce is still growing green beans, now on 160 to 170 acres. Ron, who grew up on a dairy farm near his current location of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, didn't grow up with green beans, but he always wanted to farm on his own. It started with a conversation with an older grower at his church, who recommended growing peas or beans. en Ron found an old green bean harvester for sale in the local paper, and that was that. Copenhaver Produce remains a small, family operation. Ron, 52, and Brenda have six children, three of them still at home. His oldest son, 17, is starting to run harvesters and other equipment. One of his daughters, Marcia, grows a few acres of fresh-market sweet corn. e green beans are machine-harvested. ey hire a few local workers during harvest, but it's mostly Ron and his wife, kids and parents doing the picking, grading and hauling. ey sell most of their beans fresh to local grocery stores. See GREEN, page 5 See WATER, page 6 Ron Copenhaver machine-harvests his green beans. There are no other mechanical pickers close by, so if one breaks down he has to fix it himself. Photos: Matt Milkovich

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