Sustainable food leaders to be honored at PASA annual conference


MILLHEIM, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) will recognize the winners of its Sustainable Ag Leader Award and Sustainable Ag Business Leadership Award, Mary Seton Corboy of Greensgrow Farms and Frankferd Farms Foods, during its annual conference in February.

The awards will be presented as part of the PASA-bilities Leadership Award Series at PASA’s 21st annual Farming for the Future Conference.

The event will be held Feb. 1-4 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, Pa., around the theme “Breaking Ground for a New Agriculture: Cultivating Versatility and Resilience.”

Mary Seton Corboy of Greensgrow Farms in Philadelphia, Pa., winner of the Sustainable Ag Leadership Award, started growing small plantings of gourmet lettuce in 1997.

Greensgrow Farms is made up of a nursery, a farm stand and a 600-member community supported agriculture program, all housed on one acre in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, the former site of a galvanized steel plant.

T. Lyle Ferderber will accept the Sustainable Ag Business Leader Award on behalf of his company, Frankferd Farms Foods.

Ferderber and his wife, Betty, left college to return to the family farm in Saxonburg, Pa., where they began grinding flour in the farmhouse with a small gristmill.

Thirty years later, the Ferderbers head a thriving farm, flour mill and natural foods warehouse.

The award winners will have the opportunity for further reflection as they address a plenary session at 10:15 a.m. Feb. 4 during the PASA-bilities Leadership Award Series. They will be joined by main plenary speaker, Shannon Hayes, author of Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture.

Attendance of the Farming for the Future Conference is expected to once again exceed 2,000 farmers, chefs, students, business leaders and others from over 30 U.S. states and several foreign nations.

To learn more about the Farming for the Future Conference, and to register online, visit

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