Ben is the YGA Chairperson. He is the seventh generation to farm at his family orchard operation, Three Springs Fruit Farm in Wenksville, PA. Ben is also an accomplished musician and enjoys promoting local fruits and vegetables at urban markets and through social networking sites like Facebook. He was also instrumental in gaining a Food Alliance certification for Three Springs in 2010.
Currently the YGA liaison to the State Horticultural Association of PA, Ben is also the fifth generation of fruit growers on his family farm, Keim Orchards in Boyertown, PA. He has helped coordinate several research trials on the farm and served as an advisory panel member for the Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops (CASC) project. When not in the orchard he can often be found at the baseball field.
Other Members of the Leadership Team
SHAP Partnership & SHAP Scholarship:
Liaison to SHAP—Ben Keim
Horticulture Student Support (SHAP Scholarship)—Sidney Kuhn, Wayne Hollabaugh, Jen Snavely, Bruce Hollabaugh, Ben Keim
Workshops & Speaking Engagements (Transition Planning)—
Jen Snavely, Emily Rice-Townsend, Katie Epstein, Hallie Van Horn, Sarah Lott, Alana Anderson
Trips (Sharing Diversification & Marketing Ideas, Exploring Innovations)—
Justin Weaver, Ben Keim, Sam Boyer, Tyler Butler, Mark Boyer, Andrew Schwalm, Mike Flinchbaugh
Service Work & Leadership Development—Ben Keim, Maggie Travis, Tyler Butler, Julie Bolyard, Alana Anderson, Tyler Fetters, Ben Wenk, Philip Glaize, Mark Boyer
Fundraising—Matt Strite, Ben Lerew, Ben Wenk, Katie Epstein, Clair Kauffman
Mentor Program—Nathan Milburn, Matt Harsh
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. I'd love to hear from you with any input or ideas!
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 advanced horticulture systems 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!