HERSHEY – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) has presented Elk County Farm Bureau member Ernie Mattiuz with the 2023 Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award during the farm organization’s 73rd Annual Meeting in Hershey. The award is presented to an individual whose dedicated work and service has significantly contributed to the advancement of Pennsylvania agriculture.
Mattiuz, a third-generation farmer in Kersey, Pennsylvania, owns and operates Earleyville Farm, which he started as a cow-calf operation at the age of 18 with his father. As markets changed, Mattiuz decided to move into pork and began selling direct to the consumer, before transitioning into grains. Earleyville Farm was honored as a century farm in 2023.
Mattiuz has been involved in Elk County Farm Bureau for more than 35 years and served on PFB’s State Board of Directors for eight years before reaching tenure. He is extremely passionate about educating the next generation of consumers, having spent years writing grants to help get the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation’s Mobile Education Ag Science Labs into local schools.
Mattiuz has used his years in Farm Bureau to help build relationships with his legislators to enact positive change. As a member of Elk County Farm Bureau, Mattiuz was able to get a tax exemption status for loggers passed into law. He also served as the committee chair of PFB’s Wildlife and Fisheries Committee and was instrumental in getting the Pennsylvania Game Commission to update its Red Tag law. Mattiuz actively participates in Penn State Board of Trustees elections and often advocates for Penn State Extension programs.
“Ernie has shown true leadership in promoting the legislative needs of Farm Bureau and its members at the county and state level,” PFB President Chris Hoffman said. “His efforts in Elk County have made an impact in educating the public about the needs of farmers, which is important for all of us.”
Hundreds of farmers from across the state attended Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 73rd Annual Meeting at the Hershey Lodge from Nov. 12-15, to set policy for the statewide organization on issues affecting farm and rural families.