GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 8

Photo courtesy of Joe Jurgielewicz & Sons, Ltd.

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cover story

bumper crops
By Christopher Witmer

F

armers in Berks County are no strangers
to bumper crops. However, beyond
the production aspect of this proverbial
saying, the local agricultural community is
also a bumper crop of farming diversity and
agronomic uniqueness. According to the
most recent agricultural census of 2017, Berks
County has about 1,800 farms that have
an annual value of over $550,000,000 of
products sold.

Our crop production ranks No. 2 in
the Commonwealth for annual sales. These
crops include grains, vegetables, fruits, hay,
and even a significant amount of Christmas
trees. Niche crops have also found their way
into this market. Sherry Fuhrman of Bernville
has turned the production of an indigenous wild tea popular among
the Pennsylvania Dutch community into a commercial brand
through her company, Pure Wild Tea, LLC. Likewise, Eckerton Hill
Farm, owned by Tim Stark of Rockland Township, has developed
a unique produce business for tomatoes. This operation specializes
in producing more than 100 types of heirloom variety tomatoes
that are sold to high-end restaurants and markets, mostly in New
York City.

Township. They have leveraged their dairy
experience to create a line of high-quality
yogurts and sour cream sold under the label
of Allegheny Valley Farms, which is now sold
in several local supermarkets.
Berks County also has a number of
processers that provide vital service and
support to the agricultural economy. On the
front end, operations like FM Brown's Sons,
Inc. purchase grain crops for milling. Among
other things, it produces livestock feed that
our farmers depend upon. On the back
end, Clover Farms Dairy processes locally
produced milk for a wide variety of products
such as fluid milk, cream, cottage cheese,
sour cream, and eggnog. Dietrich's Meats
and Country Store is a generational family business in Greenwich
Township that has obtained a regional reputation for its traditional
meat products processed on site.
The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) is working to
expand its role to support our agricultural community and promote
our unique bumper crop. We direct that support through economic
development loans, promotional events, and partnering with other
organizations to create community benefit.

Additionally, the county ranks No. 4 in Pennsylvania for
Traditionally, economic development programs emphasized
livestock and livestock products. The output ranges from milk companies that created and retained large amounts of jobs. However,
and eggs to cattle, hogs, chickens, and turkeys. Unique livestock in 2005, changes in the Pennsylvania Industrial Development
products have found a home in Berks County. Located in Hamburg, Authority (PIDA), the state's premier economic development
GRCA member Joe Jurgielewicz & Sons, Ltd. is one of the largest lending program, opened its guidelines to include farm businesses.
duck producers on the East Coast. Their fresh and frozen duck
GRCA can access low interest loans to support production
products are known in high-end restaurants and markets all over
agriculture
in the county through PIDA. Over the last 14 years,
the Northeast. Another local sensation that has recently come on
PIDA
loans
have helped finance 58 farm projects with loans
the scene is from the farm of Mark and Kim Weber in Brecknock
8 COMMERCE QUARTERLY FALL 2019



GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019

GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 1
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 2
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 3
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 4
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 5
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 6
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 7
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 8
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 9
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 10
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 11
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 12
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 13
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 14
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 15
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 16
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 17
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 18
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 19
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 20
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 21
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 22
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 23
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 24
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 25
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 26
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 27
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 28
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 29
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 30
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 31
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 32
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 33
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 34
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 35
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 36
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 37
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 38
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 39
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 40
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2017
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