By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/10/09
Shipley School senior co-captain Arne Andersen provides living proof that the small family farm still can succeed.
Andersen, the Laxzilla Male Scholar-Athlete of the Week, lives on his family farm outside Phoenixville in Chester County. He helps raise cows, sheep, chickens and goats and believes that the country needs to fall back on the small farmer.
“Oil is down now, but it will go back up and conventional agriculture uses tons of oil, from fertilizer to transportation costs,” Andersen said. “Hopefully, the small family farm will have a revival in the next 30 years.
“If not, we’ll have to get different forms of energy to get food around. The small family farm can be more productive.”
To his credit, Andersen has dedicated himself to make the small family farm more efficient. He recently started Broadwater Eggs and Poultry, which sells naturally-raised chickens to members of the Charlestown Farm.
These chickens are pasture raised so that they are always outside in lush green grasses and are rotated to insure that they always have fresh grass to eat.
“Most chickens are kept in huge houses and they never see grass,” he said. “All they do is sit in cages. This is a much different approach to raising chickens and eggs.”
Andersen’s success on the farm is matched only by his prowess in the classroom. He is taking four Honors classes and was named an AP Scholar. Recently, he was part of a team that won the Lexus Eco-Challenge National title for helping teach people to improve their automobile performance through the simple process of monitoring tire pressure.
On the lacrosse field, Andersen is a returning first-team All-Friends’ School League midfielder who takes face-offs and excels on man-up and man-down situations. He has helped Shipley start its season 4-3. Andersen also was a two-time all-league cross country runner who may participate in both sports at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
Andersen plans to major in Environmental Studies and perhaps Physics at Amherst. Mainly, he wants to improve sustainability on the local farm.
“I really wanted to play at a school that was similar to Shipley,” Andersen said. “I did not want to go to a very large state-run school. Amherst has small classes and my brother went there. It’s a great atmosphere, and I really like the coach (Tom Carmean).
“The main thing I want to figure out is a way to create a much more sustainable America. We need to have more productive farms on the outskirts of cities and figure out a way to make them more efficient.”
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