PVGA Life Member – David Zacherl
David Zacherl served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Association and was president of PVGA from 1978 to 1979. He served during the time when two of the most important decisions in the history of the Association were made In 1977 he was one of three members of the Board appointed to work with the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania to organize a joint fruit and vegetable educational meeting and trade show. The first joint meeting of the two associations (joined by the fruit growers from Maryland and New Jersey) was held in Hershey in 1978 – the event that is now the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. During his presidency in 1978, the Association also hired William Christian as the first PVGA Executive Secretary. Prior to that time, the directors and officers with assistance from Penn State University staff performed all the work of the Association.
Zacherl’s Farm was established in 1848 when George Casper Zacherl came from Germany and purchased 150 acres near Shippenville in Clarion County. The farm was the first farm enrolled in the Conservation Program in 1937. His great grandson, David Zacherl, at age-19, took over the farm with his mother after his father’s death and in 1943 was the first to construct a farm pond in the state of Pennsylvania. He was commended in 1981 for owning the first farm in Clarion county to implement a “no till” corn crop. Contour farming, strip cropping, no till & crop residue are properties implemented by the farm to preserve and improve the land. In 1994, David was named Conservation farmer of the year. While David, age 92, is still actively involved in the farm, he is assisted by the fifth generation – his son Steve.
A farm market was opened in 1965 to sell produce such as sweet corn, cabbage, potatoes, and tomatoes that he was growing. In 1974 an apple orchard was added. The farm market features corn, peppers, potatoes, squashes, onions, tomatoes, beans and beets grown fresh on the farm, along with fresh fruits, preserves, home made baked goods and more! The market never opens until the sweet corn is ready!