SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY  (WBRE/WYOU) Farming is an important industry in Pennsylvania and today -lawmakers got a chance to get their boots dirty touring several farms in Susquehanna County.
    As Eyewitness News Reporter Eric Deabill shows us — farmers showed off some new soil and water conservation projects that are becoming successful.
Joe Conboy is a fourth generation farmer in Susquehanna county.
    On Wednesday morning  he welcomed state lawmakers to his beef operation in Middletown Township.
    In June 2016  Conboy built this roofed barnyard for his cattle instead of allowing them to roam free  and it’s made a big difference.

“You can see my corn is growing a lot better. My grass is growing a lot better!” Said Conboy.

The environment may be the biggest winner. Especially when it comes to animal waste.
By keeping his cattle in the barn — manure no longer pollute streams in the area.

“By collecting all this manure its 1200-tons a year that was never collected before and it was going into the streams!” Said John Benscoter, Farm Bureau Director.

One of the main focuses of this legislative tour Wednesday — was to show lawmakers how farmers in the Northern Tier are working to be good stewards of the environment.
Many are using state funding and grants .
“These people here are way ahead of the curve, so to speak, and I wish that other people in Pennsylvania or the Susquehanna watershed were in the same boat” Said Senator Gene Yaw, (R) Lycoming/Bradford Counties

 in all, lawmakers got to tour five different farms.

Farming has changed in Susquehanna County over the last quarter-century.
In the early 1990’s — this county had at least 400 dairy farms.
That number has dropped to only about 60 now — as more farmers are turning to beef to stay in business.
“To be able to see them capitalize on that and be successful, I applaud them” Said Representative Jonathan Fritz, (R) Wayne/Susquehanna Counties .