Pennsylvania young growers Blake Slaybaugh, Leighton Rice, Mark Boyer, Eleanor Rice, Benjamin Keim, and Kyle Benner were recently featured in national horticultural journals.

Blake Slaybaugh, a young grower from Adams county, Pennsylvania
in Good Fruit Grower

Following an internship in Washington State, Blake has helped his family modernize and mechanize their plantings at a furious pace, forever seeking the overarching goals of higher returns, lower production costs, better packouts and improved fruit quality.

Leighton Rice, a young grower from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
in MorningClips

Leighton Rice made it to the Final Four in the 2022 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge during the 103rd American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention, which was held Jan. 7-11 in Atlanta, Ga.

Mark Boyer, a young grower from Fishertown, Pennsylvania
Fruit Grower News

Mark Boyer is a second-generation grower who is exploring FruitScout, a precision crop load management app used on a smartphone to track buds that turn to blooms, and on through fruitlets to full-color fruit at harvest – all in an effort to  pinpoint the economically optimum crop load goal.

Eleanor (Ellie) Rice, a young grower from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 
in Good Fruit Grower

Ellie Rice is an eighth-generation grower who graduated from Juniata College with a major in community conflict and change, and she now manages her family company’s human resources department and H-2A program.

Benjamin Ben Keim, a young grower from Boyertown, Pennsylvania 
in Good Fruit Grower

Ben Keim is a fifth-generation grower who graduated from Penn State and is the past president of the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania.

Kyle R. Benner, a young grower from Fairfield, Pennsylvania 
in Good Fruit Grower

Kyle Benner is a fourth-generation grower, packer and shipper who returned to the farm about six years ago.

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Donald Seifrit
  • Extension Educator, Tree Fruit