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Ruth & Judy

Ruth & Judy were named to honor two of the most prominent female figures in the history of the Reading franchise and Berks County agriculture.

Ruth

Ruth pays tribute to the Queen of Baseballtown, Ruth Hartman. After playing in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League featured in the hit film "A League of Their Own", she was the long-time softball coach at Reading High. In her 18 seasons as head coach, Hartman's team compiled an overall record of 217-73, as well as two Berks County Championships, three District titles, and two state runner-up finishes. A decorated farmer, Hartman has also raised prize-winning Corriedale sheep named after Reading and Philadelphia players such as Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, and Cody Asche.

Judy

Judy recognizes PA Senator Judy Schwank. Since graduating from Penn State with an advanced degree in agricultural education, Schwank has taught at the secondary level, directed the Berks County Cooperative Extension, and served two terms as county commissioner. After leaving county government, Schwank served as president of the non-profit organization 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania and later as Dean of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley College prior to being elected to the State Senate in 2011.

 

Why are they here?

  • The #1 Industry in Berks County is Farming & Agriculture. Berks County also ranks third in the United States and first in Pennsylvania for farmland preservation.
  • Ruth & Judy are here to help raise awareness and celebrate Berks County's leading industry and long-lasting farming heritage.
  • We hope that families can fall in love with both farming and baseball from the allure of these magnificent ostriches!

 

Ostrich Facts

  • The ostrich is the world's largest bird
  • Ostriches are the Fastest animal on two legs, reaching speeds up to 40 mph
  • Ostriches have three stomachs. Lacking teeth, ostriches swallow pebbles to grind their food and an adult ostrich carries about 1kg of stones in its stomach
  • Ostrich wings reach a span of about 2 metres and are used in mating displays, to shade chicks, to cover the naked skin of the upper legs and flanks to conserve heat, and as "rudders" to help them change direction while running
  • When threatened ostriches run although their powerful, long legs can be formidable weapons, capable of killing a human or a potential predator like a lion with a forward kick
  • The giant eggs are the largest of any living bird at 15cm long and weighing as much as two dozen chicken eggs, though they are actually the smallest eggs relative to the size of the adult bird
  • Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand: the myth probably originates from the bird's defensive behaviour of lying low at the approach of trouble and pressing their long necks to the ground in an attempt to become less visible. Their plumage blends well with sandy soil and, from a distance, gives the appearance that they have buried their heads in the sand
  • Ostriches can go without drinking for several days, using metabolic water and moisture in ingested roots, seeds and insects, but they enjoy liquid water and frequently take baths where it is available
  • The ostrich has the largest eye of any land animal, measuring almost 5 cm across, allowing predators such as lions to be seen at long distances