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Initiatives

Our mission is to encourage, develop, support and equip the next generation of specialty crop growers. YGA members have identified the following areas as priorities for group development:

Farm Transition Planning

To help young & older growers achieve a successful family farm transition, the YGA conducts farm transition workshops at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention in Hershey, PA.

One of the workshops featured Ann Dugan from the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Ann is an accomplished author, lecturer, and family business consultant who founded the Family Enterprise Center within the University. She has over 20 years of experience researching, developing, and writing in the area of family business.

View Ann Dugan's presentation on Farm Transition Planning - Bringing in the Next Generation from Community Media on Vimeo.

Sharing Diversification & Marketing Ideas

YGA members are constantly sharing new ideas with one another. One of the best ways to do this is to join us on tours and trips! Stay on top of information for new farmers by linking up with Penn State Extension's Start Farming Blog or attend some of the many courses for new, establishing and next generation farmers.

Exploring Innovations

The YGA is associated with Penn State Cooperative Extension; through this partnership, members have the opportunity to learn about new specialty crop innovations—even as they are being developed! Learn more about new technology developed by Penn State and its collaborators. Young growers have ventured to New Zealand, Bolzano, Italy, California

Quebec, Canada with the International Fruit Tree Association, Bolzano, Italy and New Zealand to learn about different fruit production techniques.

Horticulture Student Recruitment

We strongly encourage participation from the next generation of specialty crop growers, so please join us! YGA, along with the SHAP endowment committee, sponsors a horticulture scholarship. We also coordinate youth orchard work exchange opportunities.

Leadership Development

Not only are YGA members the next generation of growers, they are the next generation of great leaders. We strive to increase member participation in industry associations and state/local government. Check out our leadership and professional development opportunities.

Professional Development

YGA supports young growers who need financial support to attend professional development courses and conferences by connecting members to potential donors. If you are interested in exploring this opportunity please contact our coordinator.

Helping Underserved Growers in Central America

Nicaragua Ag Extension Project - an agricultural extensionist outreach program in the rural Nicaraguan community of Talolinga, focused on providing knowledge regarding sustainable agriculture techniques that can be transferred by one extensionist to all members of the community. The hope is that this approach would also be a model for assistance to similar communities in Nicaragua, Central America and beyond. If you are interested in joining one of the travel delegations, please contact our coordinator.

Service

Members help at the PA Farm Show, give career day presentations, and assist with food security initiatives such as gleaning networks.

See full listing of our members and teams