Team PA and the PA Dept. of Agriculture (PDA) entered into a formal partnership in early 2016 in order to explore ways to strengthen Pennsylvania’s agricultural sector. Five leaders from the sector were nominated to serve as charter members. They first convened at Ag Progress Days in August 2016 to discuss the mission and goals of the advisory board. By the inaugural meeting in January 2017, at the 101st Pennsylvania Farm Show, 21 additional leaders in the sector were invited to join the advisory board. See below for a full list of advisory board members.
The advisory board is co-chaired by Secretary Russell Redding and Scott Sechler, Chairman and President of Bell & Evans, a pioneer in the natural foods market as a leading producer of antibiotic-free chickens. Secretary Redding and Sechler also serve on the Team Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors.
With a generous grant from PDA, one of the first charges of the advisory board was to release an RFP to commission an in-depth economic impact analysis of Pennsylvania’s agriculture sector. The results of this study will help to inform the future activities of the advisory board.
Among the priority projects the advisory board would like to address going forward are PDA’s ongoing work to develop a 10-year strategic plan for the industry; identifying needs and opportunities to develop a trained workforce that can fill an estimated 75,000 expected vacancies in the food and fiber industries by 2025; and assessing inhibitors to growth by doing a comparative assessment of best economic development practices and strategies in other states.
- Betsy Albright, Vice President and CFO, Harrisburg Dairies
- Bill Beam, Owner, Beam Farms
- Mike Brownback, Farmer, Spiral Path Farms
- Mike Brubaker, CEO and Chief Marketing Officer, Blackford Ventures
- Tom Clemens, President of Clemens Development, Clemens Food Group
- Darrell Curtis, President and CEO, AgChoice Farm Credit
- Taylor Doebler, VP of Production, Local Seed Co.
- Daniel Eichenlaub, President, Eichenlaub Landscaping
- Calvin Ernst, President, Ernst Seeds
- Gale Ferranto, President, Buona Foods
- Joe Fox, Marketing Representative, Philadelphia Port
- Chad Geise, President, Furmano Foods
- Mary Grill, President & CEO, Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative Association
- Scott Hauseman, Senior Vice President, Agricultural Financial Services, Fulton Bank
- Don Hoover, President, Binkley and Hurst
- Peter Hughes, President, Red Barn Consulting
- David Jaindl, Owner and President, Jaindl Companies
- Mike John, COO, Milk Marketing, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association
- David Masser, President, Sterman Masser
- Mario Mazza, General Manager and Vice President, Mazza Vineyards
- Catherine Mott, Founder, Blue Tree Capital Group, LLC
- Alan Novak, President and Founder, Novak Strategic Advisors
- Mike Peachey, Partner, Ag and Agribusiness Services, Acuity Advisors and CPAs
- Chris Pierce, President, Heritage Poultry Management Services, Inc.
- Scott Sechler, Chairman and President, Bell and Evans
- Gary Smith, President and CEO, Chester County Economic Development Council