Our History

1894 Mission Statement

"To encourage and protect the trade and business of flour, feed, and grain milling in the State of Pennsylvania by cultivating a more intimate and friendly relation among the millers of Pennsylvania, and promoting in every expedient and lawful manner the interests of their business."

This was the purpose of our organization as stated in the original charter of December 7, 1894. There have been many changes in the industry since its founding, but these objectives are as true today as when the Charter was granted.

History is often expressed in terms of people - their thoughts and ideas, their relationships and their way of life. Thus the story of PennAg is a story of people brought together over many years through their business lives. How well it has served its purpose is exemplified by the fact that it is stronger today and performs more services than at any time during its long history. Many people with foresight and extraordinary leadership have served their industry unselfishly to bring this about.

The organization had its beginning in the Fall of 1877 when a number of millers, being pressed by discriminatory freight rates granted by railroads to shippers of western flour, decided to band together.

Thus in January 1878, "The Pennsylvania Millers' State Association" came into being with a Constitution and By-Laws being adopted. During the next ten years the association expanded rapidly. They organized the Pennsylvania Millers' Fire Insurance Company. The conventions were long and festive with trips to distant cities and resorts.

With the development of "patent" flour and cake flour in the larger and more efficient mills of the west, the local grist mill was gradually but steadily eliminated in Pennsylvania. To make up for the lost volume, increasing numbers of these millers turned in the late 20's and early 30's to the infant feed industry. By 1931, this trend was so accentuated that the name of the corporation was changed to "The Pennsylvania Millers' & Feed Dealers' Association."

Following World War II, through particularly aggressive leadership, the organization became stronger than ever. It hired its first full-time secretary. The Board of Directors met at regular intervals. Services to members were expanded.

In 1969, the concept of organizational membership was broadened to include other types of agribusiness organizations such as fertilizer, ag chemicals, seed, etc. In 1972, the name was changed to "PennAg Industries Association." In 1996, the By-Laws were changed to allow for the formation of Councils; the Pennsylvania Agronomic Products Association merged with PennAg in 1997 and became the first official Council - the Agronomic Products Council.

Following the formation of the Agronomics Council, seven additional councils have been created, including the Feed, Grain and Allied Industry Council which was formed from the group with a common interest that started the association. In 1998, the Pennsylvania Poultry Federation dissolved and became the Poultry Council of PennAg and in early 2000 the Seed Council was created following the dissolution of the Pennsylvania Seedsmen Association.

Also in 2000, the Swine Council was formed and then the Manure Haulers/Applicators Council was formed in 2005, made up of an independent group with similar interests. In 2007, the Aquaculture Council was formed after the dissolution of the Pennsylvania Aquaculture Association. Most recently, the PennAg Horse Council was formed in 2010.

In 2009, the association made a switch from the traditional 'long conventions with festive trips to distant cities and resorts' and decided to condense the event to a one-day function, along with combining the Annual Association Convention with the Spring Poultry Banquet. In 2011, the PennAg Annual Meeting & Spring Banquet was held in March. Combining the events has allowed for increased member participation and support.

PennAg unites a diverse group of leading individuals and organizations in agriculture to broaden and enhance your ability to impact the industr and ensure agribusiness flourishes across the Commonwealth. As a member, you have a voice that's guaranteed to be heard by Pennsylvania's legislative and regulatory leadership. PennAg has a finger on the pulse of what's influencing the business of agriculture and ensures that decision makers are armed with information and perspectives to best serve your interests.