Adams County: Behind the Scenes
My first week has been an eye-opening experience into the behind-closed-doors of Adams County. We have traversed the county to visit Plainville Farms (turkey processing), Hollabaugh Fruit Farm, Rice Fruit, a work camp, the offices of SCCAP (South Central Community Action Program), and the Painted Turtle farm on campus, among many other places. While Gettysburg is known as a tourist town, it is a part of a larger community riddled with poverty and injustice. However, while it is easy to get hung up on the negatives, it is also important to recognize the work being down to help improve the lives of other and create an atmosphere of equality and integrity.
While it is all too common for workers, especially migrant workers, to be reduced to what they produce, Hollabaugh Farms provided an exceptional example of a business that shows genuine care for its employees. Typically, tours of any official establishment are given by pr people who do not tell the whole story. So, it was very insightful to get a tour of the farm from two workers from Mexico and here there personal stories about how DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has positively affected their lives. Moreover, it was special to see how eager and excited they were to give the tour. For them, Hollabaugh was their family and Adams County was their home.
Another wonderful example of the great work being done in the community to create a positive living environment was the Circles of Support. Circles, led by the passionate and energetic Tonya Mincey, is designed to provide support and a plan toward self-sufficiency for people living in poverty. The night we were at Circles was allies night in which group members met with their “allies” to discuss goals and strategies to help achieve self-sufficiency. While the people struggling to make ends meet could have been down about their situation, it was great to see the positive energy with which they faced their problems. I look forward to returning to Circles to see the progress made, and to hopefully be an outlet of support for anybody who needs it.
Lastly, I am very excited for my main project this Summer, which is Migrant Education. I will be working with high schoolers, and I look forward to working with them as they start to prepare for the possibilities of after high school.
Nathan Cody ’16