SANDY LAKE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Pa. 16) was the special guest speaker at a ceremony held today celebrating Earth Day and the relocation of Edible Earth Farm, a certified organic farm that uses biodynamic farming methods and offers a Community Supported Agriculture program to its members. Edible Earth Farm consolidated farming operations from five separate properties to its current 90-acre location in Sandy Lake.
“With the official celebration of Earth Day taking place yesterday in nearly 200 countries around the world, we are proud to gather today to honor that mission of protecting our environment by recognizing a local business that is passionately committed to organic food, nature and sustainability,” said Congressman Kelly. “The success and growth of Edible Earth Farm was made possible through the dedicated efforts of its founders, its local community bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh’s Banking On Business program. This impressive partnership has enabled a small business to flourish while bringing fresh, local food to hundreds of Western Pennsylvania families.”
Joining Congressman Kelly for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the 90-acre farm were owners April and Johnny Parker; Winthrop Watson, President and Chief Executive Officer at FHLBank Pittsburgh; Ray Kaltenbaugh, Chief Executive Officer, Mercer County State Bank; Sheila Sterrett, NWPA Regional Manager for U.S. Senator Pat Toomey; Diane Helbig, District Director for State Senator Michele Brooks; Tedd Nesbit, State Representative; Scott Boyd, Mercer County Commissioner; and Matthew McConnell, Mercer County Commissioner.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome everyone to our farm to celebrate Earth Day as we begin our third growing season in our new location. We are grateful for the support from our partners, staff and community to help us realize our dream of providing families with the healthiest, freshest food,” said April Parker.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the expansion of Edible Earth Farm with Congressman Kelly and everyone here today, and we are privileged to join FHLBank Pittsburgh member Mercer County State Bank in supporting small business growth through the Banking On Business program,” stated Winthrop Watson. “Banking On Business is an important lending program that offers qualified small businesses access to secondary loans that supplement the primary loans made by our member financial institutions.”
Ray Kaltenbaugh added, “It is wonderful to partner with FHLBank Pittsburgh to bring a new small business that will continue to employ our neighbors and support our families in our community. We congratulate Edible Earth Farm and look forward to your continued success.”
Edible Earth Farm benefited from funding provided through the Banking On Business program. This funding supported the relocation and expansion of Edible Earth Farm’s organic farming operation to Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania, in order to provide greater proximity and access to customers, markets and seasonal laborers along the I-79 corridor. Through the financing provided by Mercer County State Bank and the Banking On Business program, Edible Earth Farm doubled its acreage and increased the number of employees on staff. It is anticipated that additional jobs will be created in 2019 as well.
In honor of Earth Day and the mission of Edible Earth Farm, all ceremony attendees received a small plant to take home.
About FHLBank Pittsburgh
FHLBank Pittsburgh is a congressionally chartered cooperative of local financial institutions operating across Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Bank uses private money, not taxpayer funds, to ensure the flow of credit and services to local lenders and assists them in serving the affordable housing and community and economic development needs of the communities in which they operate. In 2018, FHLBank Pittsburgh’s Banking On Business program provided $6.5 million in financing for small businesses. These funds helped create and retain more than 700 local jobs.
About Mercer County State Bank
Locally owned and operated, Mercer County State Bank (MCSB) is passionate about supporting local communities and strives to lead by example. At MCSB, we're committed to supporting our youth, helping those in need and enhancing our communities by partnering with local nonprofits, schools and civic organizations. At MCSB, our objective is to build long-term valued relationships with our customers based on trust and respect. We are known for our experienced commercial and residential lending teams and the friendly expertise of our branch employees who consistently provide exceptional service, quick turnaround, flexibility and ongoing financial guidance for our customers. Our goal is to continue to surpass our clients' expectations. The Bank looks to the future with the same locally focused mission as always, to remain a stable, financially secure, local independent financial organization that is in business for the benefit of each community and customer we serve.
About Edible Earth Farm
Pittsburgh's favorite fresh food delivery service features the area's first Choice Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, where members choose all their weekly items. CSA members have benefits unique to Edible Earth Farm. Members get access to a vast online Farm Store where they can purchase items, including flour, grain, herbs, bulk produce, kitchenware, prepared foods, storage crops, honey, maple syrup, tea, coffee, meats and more. Members also get access to on-farm events and access to Edible Earth Farm's free home delivery service from January-May. Become a member today and see firsthand why hundreds of families choose Edible Earth Farm to feed them every year.
Edible Earth Farm raises vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, ginger, fruit and pastured pigs and beef. Located 68 miles north of Pittsburgh and 50 miles south of Erie, Edible Earth Farm is certified organic and utilizes many biodynamic farming methods. The farm also sources and sells through the West Penn Farm Alliance. For more information, visit edibleearthfarm.com.