Members of the Leadership Team
Ben Lerew -Chairperson
Ben is the third generation to grow fruit at Lerew Brothers' Orchards. Ben is also a member of the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania Research Committee. When he is not in the orchard he can often be found on the stream fly fishing or out in the woods hunting.
Andrew Schwalm -Vice Chair
Andrew is a third generation grower of tree fruit, asparagus, corn and soybeans. He is an innovator and built his own asparagus washer/cutter and two harvesting machines. His operation is in Hegins, PA, and he enjoys the opportunities YGA offers to network with other young growers.
Katie Epstein - Treasurer
Katie is a loan officer with AgChoice Farm Credit working with growers in York, Adams and surrounding counties where she has been since 2008 after graduating from Cornell University. When not involved with AgChoice responsibilities or volunteering with the many local organizations she is involved with she helps on her family’s dairy farm and enjoys spending time with her family, especially cheering on her husband who is a marathon runner.
SHAP Partnership & SHAP Scholarship:
Liaison to SHAP — Andrew Schwalm
Liaison to YGA of Virginia — Philip Glaize
Liaison to Maryland Horticulture Association — Ben Butler
Liaison to US Apple — Mark Boyer
Horticulture Student Support (SHAP Scholarship)—Sidney
Kuhn, Wayne Hollabaugh, Jen Baugher, Bruce Hollabaugh
Workshops & Speaking Engagements (Transition Planning)—
Ryan Callihan, Sarah Zost, Katie Epstein, Hallie Van Horn, Zoe Milburn, Adam Dellinger
Tours (Sharing Diversification & Marketing Ideas, Exploring Innovations)—
Justin Weaver, Corey McCleaf, Tyler Butler, Mark Boyer, Andrew Schwalm, Mike Flinchbaugh
Service Work & Leadership Development—Ben Keim, Maggie Travis, Julie Bolyard, Tyler Fetters, Philip Glaize, Mark Boyer, Steven Johnston
Professional Development —Matt Strite, Ben Lerew, Katie Epstein, Clair Kauffman, Greg Wenk, Kyle Benner
Liason to IFTA - Nathan Milburn, Jen Baugher
Adams County Cooperative Extension
The Young Grower Alliance is involved in many activities, including: sharing diversification and marketing ideas through orchard tours, exploring innovations at national and international workshops and helping out in their communities through service opportunities. As the group's coordinator, I assist members in planning and coordinating these and the many other activities in which they are involved. I'm always seeking to make new connections through outreach and networking. Please share any ideas you may have for future YGA programming!
From its beginning in 2005, YGA has been a valued network for extending Penn State’s tree fruit educational programs to the specialty crop industry. Assisting young growers in transitioning to horticultural systems that are environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable through tours, in-depth workshops, and field trials is a truly meaningful part of an extension educator’s role. Young growers are invited to contact me if you have horticultural questions or ideas for answering those questions through research trials in your orchards!