The Ag Council raises awareness of the economic impact of the local farming industry and promotes excellence in farming. This outreach assists county farmers to market their businesses, helps create an environment to attract new farmers, and informs residents and municipal officials about the importance of local agriculture. We also partner with other organizations to address agricultural issues.
The Ag Council members are appointed by the County Commissioners to administer programs to educate the general public on the importance of agriculture and encourage the continuation of farming in Chester County. View Bylaws
The Ag Council sponsors several important programs such as producing the Chester County Farm Product guide, and recognizing a Farmer of the Year and recipient for a Distinguished Service to Agricultural award.
Dr. Barbara Dallap-Schaer (Vice-Chair) is the Medical Director at New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine where she specializes in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care of large animals. She and her husband Tom own and operate Meadowset Farm and Apiary in Landenberg. At Meadowset they focus on their bee yard where the honeybees produce honey, pollen, propolis and beeswax. The Schaers won the Ag Council's Farmer of the Year Award in 2013.
Tim Ferris is the director and head beekeeper at Extract and Box, an apiary operation that produces specialized bee products primarily for cosmetic and pharmaceutical application. He is the owner of FarmHouse Markets, a CSA (community supported agriculture) program in Chester Springs. He also operates several sustainable farming and forestry businesses in New Zealand.
Ryan Heenan is a beginning farmer who grows flowers with his wife Lori on 8.6 acres in Willistown with a focus on sustainable agriculture practices including minimum tillage and natural pest control. He is also the owner of Westview Capital Investments.
Casandra Long owns and operates Kolb's Farm Store at Doodle-a-Long Farms with her husband Bobby. They milk approximately 50 cows and process it on the farm. They sell their dairy products at their store, as well as to other wholesale accounts. Long also serves as the Delaware County Dairy Princess Promotion Coordinator and dairy team coach. In 2017, she traveled around the state marketing and promoting the dairy industry as Pennsylvania State Alternate Dairy Princess. She joined the Ag Council board in 2022.
Adam Mowery is the Managing Member of Mowery Environmental, LLC, an environmental consulting company that works primarily with the agricultural industry. Prior to founding his business in 2015, Mowery worked for the Chester County Conservation District for 7 1/2 years where he helped producers implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect soil and water quality. Mowery is a frequent contributor of articles to the Mushroom News, a publication distributed by the American Mushroom Institute (AMI). He and his wife have 1 young son. Mowery joined the Ag Council board in 2017.
Cynthia Petrone-Hudock is CEO of Hemp-Alternative, a hemp growing and distribution operation, as well as the president of Business Insights, a business consulting firm. She is also a senior advisor at New Frontier Data, a cannabis analytics company, and serves as co-lead research of the PA Industrial Hemp Steering Committee.
Vincent M. Pompo is partner and chairman of the Municipal Law Department and the Environmental Law Practice Group at Lamb McErlane. His practice areas include municipal, land use and environmental law. He is the President of the Board of Directors at Lundale Farms, Inc., a non-profit sustainable farming community in South Coventry and East Nantmeal Townships, and he was appointed to serve on the Governor's Local Government Workgroup of the Pennsylvania's Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force. He recently retired as a long time supervisor in East Bradford Township where he spearheaded its open space preservation program, and continues to serve as solicitor for a number of municipalities in Chester and Montgomery Counties. He joined the Ag Council board in 2022.
Bill Shick has 12 years of vegetable growing experience in both for-profit and non-profit environments. He currently oversees all aspects of greenhouse production, field production, and produce handling at the Chester County Food Bank. He and his team of staff and volunteers grow between 150-200,000 pounds of vegetables per year, which is distributed free of charge to those in need throughout Chester County.
Gary Westlake (Chair) is the owner of Westlake Tree Farms, LLC with farms totaling over 300 acres in the northern and western municipalities. He is a 3rd generation Christmas tree grower and nurseryman, specializing in Christmas tree production and marketing, as well as forest products. He has served four years on USDA's Christmas Tree Promotion Board and was appointed by Secretary Vilsack to a second term staring in January 2022. Westlake is a Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturalist (PCH) and past president of the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Grower's Association (PCTGA). He joined the Ag Council board in 2017.
Learn about all of the county government organizations that provide services to farmers and the agricultural community.
Ag Council board meetings, which are open to the public, are held at 9:30 AM on the following dates:
Currently the meetings are hybrid allowing the public to attend in person or via Zoom. Meetings are held in the Government Services Building (601 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA 19380). Check individual agendas posted above for specific room location.
Visit https://zoom.us/j/97515636971 to join the webinar or telephone toll free 877-853-5247 and enter Webinar ID 975 1563 6971. We recommend beginning to log in at 9:15 in case of technical difficulties. The public is invited to join, and there will be an opportunity for public comment during the meeting.
If you are joining by phone and would like to comment, wait for the Chair to call for public comment. When the Chair calls for comment press *9 to "raise your hand". When it is your turn, the Chair will call the last four digits of your phone number and an automated voice will instruct you to press *6 to un-mute yourself and speak. When done speaking, mute your phone by pressing *6.