Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
For Immediate Release: November 18, 2019
|Leon Kriner of Clearfield County is recognized with Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Local Affairs Leader Award before a crowded room of farmers during PFB’s 69th Annual Meeting in Hershey.|
(Hershey) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) has selected Leon Kriner of Clearfield County as the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Local Affairs Leader Award during the farm organization’s 69th Annual Meeting in Hershey. The award recognizes an outstanding individual, whose local affairs efforts and activities have helped solve problems and improve rural living for county Farm Bureau members.
Kriner, who served eight years on PFB’s State Board of Directors and nine years as Clearfield County Farm Bureau President, played a major role in the creation of the Clearfield County Farmland Preservation Program, and was instrumental in helping several townships create Agricultural Security Areas, which allow the townships to participate in the Farmland Preservation Program.
“It took several years of working with county and local officials to create a farmland preservation program for Clearfield County. We wanted to make sure the program would be beneficial to local farmers as well as the entire community,” said Kriner. “Although Clearfield County doesn’t have the same development pressure as many urban areas of the state, there has been increased development pressure in the county over the past few years, prompting Farm Bureau members to seek the option of participating in the program.”
Kriner was recognized for his overall commitment, gathering resources and addressing misconceptions about the Farmland Preservation Program to generate support for the program by educating county commissioners, township supervisors and members of local communities about the positive impacts of local farms and how they benefit rural economies. He also has been a huge advocate of farmers implementing conservation practices and being stewards of the land.
“Leon is a great Farm Bureau leader. When he would talk about issues during his tenure on the state board of directors, everyone in the room would listen, because his comments were always well thought-out and on the mark,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “Leon has had a positive impact for Farm Bureau at the state and county level and he clearly made a huge difference in Clearfield County overcoming obstacles over the five years it took to implement the Farmland Preservation Program.”
While a member of PFB’s state board of directors, Kriner also helped develop and implement regional “Farm Bureau Day” meetings. “Moving to a regional all-day session was a change that greatly benefitted farmers and Farm Bureau staff, because it allowed a variety of topics to be addressed during a one-day meeting, as opposed to holding four separate meetings in each county Farm Bureau,” added Kriner. “The move to the single-day meeting saved time and money, and resulted in much higher attendance by farmers at the meetings.”
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization,
representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.