Bessemer, PA – This afternoon, residents of Western Pennsylvania and friends of Lawrence County farmer Maggie Henry locked themselves to a giant paper-mache pig in the entrance to a Shell natural gas well site in order to protest the company’s threat to local agriculture and food safety. The newly-constructed gas well is located less than 4,000 feet from Henry’s organic pig farm.
The farm has been in the Henry family for generations and has been maintained as a small business despite pressure from industry consolidation. The Henry’s made a switch from dairy to organic pork and poultry production several years ago as part of their commitment to keeping the operation safe and sustainable for generations to come. Joining Maggie Henry at the well site are residents from other Pennsylvania counties affected by natural gas drilling and Pittsburgh-area residents of all ages who support Henry’s fight. Many are customers who buy her food at farmers’ markets and grocery stores who do not want to see the integrity of their food source compromised.
The Henry farm is especially vulnerable to the risk associated with fracking because it is located in an area riddled with hundreds of abandoned oil wells from the turn of the 20th century.
The full press release is available at http://shadbushcollective.org/lockdown-farms-food-not-fracking/, with updates going up on the front page of their site. Follow along also @shadbushcollect #maggiesfarm