Our Mission and Welcome Message

Mission

PennAg works to create and maintain an effective, viable and competitive environment for Pennsylvania agribusiness to grow and prosper.

The mission is achieved by monitoring regulations and legislation, networking among agricultural organizations and educating decision-makers on the importance of agribusiness to the communities of the Commonwealth.

Executive Vice President's Message

Members & Visitors,

Thank you so much for visiting the website for PennAg Industries Association! All of us at PennAg, our board, staff and more than 500 agribusiness and farm members are proud of this organization, its history and its relevant mission for today’s complex world. The issues we address are complicated and our place at the table is important.

For our members, it’s our goal to be relevant in the everyday operations of your farms and business. We want to be a resource and a tool to help make you more competitive and forever sustainable. Our hope is to provide information, training, guidance and especially leadership in Harrisburg.

As a visitor to our website, you may disagree with an issue or practice that a PennAg member or industry represents. We have agreed to disagree with some of the most prominent animal, environmental and human rights organizations in the world. This has not been a bad thing. What we have learned from these organizations is that there is often common ground that, if established, will make our world a better place.

At PennAg Industries Association we are all about finding solutions to the problems that face our industry, state, nation and world. We are serious about addressing issues. We are not interested in shifting blame, pointing fingers, or misleading the public with inaccurate information or propaganda. We are willing to work with anyone who is serious about creating solutions.

Welcome to our website. Please call on us if we can be helpful.

Sincerely,

Christian R. Herr
PennAg Board Secretary
PennAg Executive Vice President
Harrisburg, PA

Board President's Message

As we enter the 2020-2021 Penn Ag year I would like to extend a warm welcome to those who may be viewing the PennAg website for the first time, and a sincere thank you to those nearly 500 members and affiliates who have continued to support our efforts in executing our mission “to create and maintain an effective, viable and competitive environment for Pennsylvania agribusiness to grow and prosper.”

As we entered 2020 none of us could have realized the challenges we were to face, through the COVID pandemic, a volatile social environment and a very important national election year. The uncertainty of tomorrow makes managing our businesses difficult, and at times very different. But I know the agriculture community has the integrity to thrive and the grit to survive through the chaos. It takes each one of us doing our part to enable success for the whole.

The PennAg structure offers many different avenues for your participation. Whether through one of our council’s (Agronomic; Seed; Feed, Grain and Allied Industry; Poultry, Swine, Horse, Aquaculture, Manure Haulers), committee’s (Legislative, Workforce, Transportation, Membership, Insurance, Political Action), or leading on the Board of Directors, there is opportunity to help support the PA Agribusiness community. I encourage you to take some time to see if there is a fit for you and/or your business.

In the fall of 2019 PennAg created a committee to help determine if the organization was still meeting the needs of the membership, and what should PennAg be doing to ensure the organization is still relevant in the future in light of changes in Pennsylvania Agribusiness. We had always worked under the “3 leg stool” rule of 1) Advocacy, 2) Insurance and 3) Contract Management. And while advocacy is still our top priority for our membership there has been a diversification of PennAg via additional industry segments, consolidation within the industry and changing requirements for meeting the needs of our membership over the past few years. Following an evaluation process and committee meetings, it has been decided we need to rethink some of that rule, and information and direction will be coming in the future. The one key element that already has been implemented out of this effort is the PennAg Leadership Institute, which has been introduced to the membership this fall. I encourage you to review this opportunity either for yourself, or those in your organization.

Financially we continue to be in a position of strength during this time. This has been due to the leadership of past years and the foresight to establish a financial reserve. Even without the 2021 Farm Show, which is our largest fundraiser, we have picked up additional revenue streams through our contracts and other means to help generate a positive budget for this year. This should be very encouraging to our membership.

I would also be remiss if I did not thank Chris Herr, the PennAg team and the Board of Directors for their enthusiasm and energy to continue strengthening our relationships with legislators and key leadership positions in Harrisburg and within the PennAg membership. As well as the administration of a multitude of contracts (such as the new PA Center for Poultry & Livestock Excellence, PA & Eastern Regional Soybean Board, PA Pork Producers Council) and organization and execution of the many different PennAg events. These individuals are a vital part to the success of PennAg. I encourage you to thank them when you get the opportunity.

Lastly, I think of the phrase by William Penn, “Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.” I truly believe Pennsylvania agribusiness is trying to do the right things. I encourage us to remember we may not always go with the flow and may run into some walls, but we need to remain strong in our commitment to doing the right thing to feed our communities, our nation and our world, and provide the support for bringing enjoyment to people through animal companionship.

Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with thoughts, questions and suggestions at [email protected].

Jon Slothour
PennAg Board President
Pro Ag Premix, LLC
Lebanon, PA