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Grassroots Close-up

In an effort to get to know members, Grassroots Close-up highlights PFB members and their involvement in agriculture.


Published each month in the Country Focus member publication, each member is interviewed about such topics as their operation, products they sell, views on current agriculture processes, and why they are a Farm Bureau member.

 

We hope you enjoy getting to know your fellow members!


Please contact Liam Migdail at 717.761.2740 for more information or submit this online form.

 

Name  County Business

Brittany Foertsch Butler Crop & Beef Farm
Karen Chapin Columbia Crop Farm
Tim Wood Tioga Dairy Farm
Dennis Marbarger Schuylkill Crop & Beef Farm
Bob Rutledge Wayne Beef & Grain Farm
Stacy Hann Perry Dairy Farm
Mark Muir Erie Sheep Farm
Rachel Kirkoff Berks Poultry
LeeAnn Kapanick Crawford Beef & Crop Farm
Tim Goss Mifflin Hog Farm
Julie Perry Bradford Diversified Farm
Stephen Naylor Perry Grain Farmer
Courtney Meyer Lancaster Agriculture Insurance
Joe Krall
Lebanon Dairy Farmer
Karen Doyle York Pick-Your-Own Farm
Don Carter Washington Agway Employee
Shannon Copeland
Erie Crop Adjuster
Andrew Frankenfield
Montgomery Produce Farmer
Clair Esbenshade Snyder Diversified Farm
David Yeany Forest Maple Syrup Producer
Eliza Walton Centre Grain Mill Operator
Brett Reinford Juniata Dairy Farmer
Charles Wyant Clarion Equine Facility
Carissa Itle-Westrick Cambria Dairy Farmer
Jim & Kim Barbour Susquehanna Diversified Farm

 

 

 

Foertsch web

 

Crop & Beef Farm

 

Tell us about your farm.
I grew up on my grandfather, Harold Foertsch’s family farm. Har-Lo Farms Inc. grows small grains, hay, straw, potatoes, and raises beef cattle. I help at the farm when needed but am employed by II-VI Inc., which is a global engineered materials and optoelectronic components and devices company. My husband Zach Speer works on the farm.


You are a member of the state Young Farmer and Rancher Committee. What have you found most rewarding about serving in that role?
The most rewarding experience is developing a network of friends in the farming community across the state of Pennsylvania. Being on the state committee has expanded my knowledge of Farm Bureau and what the YF&R program provides to the younger generation.


Why is it important to get the next generation interested in agriculture and involved in Farm Bureau?
Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization; therefore, the younger generation needs to understand the importance of agriculture. I have encouraged younger involvement in my county by having an active six member YF&R committee. My committee has now taken leadership by designing and mailing county event postcards, hosting YF&R events, social media, and always helping the county board.


What unique perspective do you bring to the agricultural community as a young farmer?
My unique perspective is having a farm and corporate background. I have used my marketing and design skills to better Farm Bureau with state and local projects. I rejuvenated the YF&R program in Butler County by having quarterly meetings and hosting at least three YF&R events each year.


Tell us about the work you do to promote agriculture and why it is important.
Zach and I are a wonderful team to promote agriculture. Zach was raised on a family dairy farm and has a better understanding of the farming industry. My education and work experience has allowed me to be better skilled in technology, such as social media. Together, Zach and I combine our skills and knowledge to relate to the local community. We strive to promote YF&R and Farm Bureau for future generations.


Are you optimistic about the future of agriculture?
Yes, Zach and I are optimistic because our county YF&R committee is expanding with each event. Zach works at Har-Lo Farms, Inc. continuing his farming lifestyle. I am optimistic about the future of agriculture because of the increasing likes of our county Farm Bureau’s Facebook page.


Lastly, why are you a Farm Bureau member?
I got involved with Farm Bureau because of my passion for agriculture and enjoyment of educating the public about my experience and knowledge. Zach got started with Farm Bureau because of my involvement as Butler County YF&R
chair. Being just married in this month, we now serve as co-chairs of Butler County YF&R. Zach and I share the same values of farming and family. We hope to pass down these values to our future children and generations to come.