With an agricultural lending team who has more than 350 years combined experience in ag banking and on-the-farm knowledge, the agricultural arm of First Citizens Community Bank is well prepared to advise and guide farmers. The bank keeps their ag muscles strong by turning to others with agricultural expertise in the form of advisory boards. Agricultural Advisory Board members provide the team with knowledge, understanding, and strategic thinking. First Citizens recently announced the addition of three new industry experts to their advisory boards: Elvin Stoltzfus, John Painter, and Jeff Barnes.
Elvin Stoltzfus was raised on the family farm near New Columbia, and was one of 19 children. From childhood, he developed a strong work ethic and realized the value in working with others on the farm. In 1976, he began crop farming 2,600 acres. Then, in 1982, he and a friend built the first Pik Rite tomato harvester, which was momentous, considering Stoltzfus had previously harvested all tomatoes by hand. Pik Rite was incorporated in 1986 and currently employees 83 people. Today, he also operates a custom grain business, Stoltzfus Grain.
John Painter operates Painterland Farms in Westfield with his two brothers and his mother. Five generations of the family currently work on the organic dairy and organic hay farm, where they farm 5,500 acres. Painter is the District 5 state director for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, representing Potter, McKean, Tioga, Bradford and Sullivan counties. He is also a member of the Potter/Tioga Farm Bureau.
Jeff Barnes is a seventh-generation farmer, operating Maple Knoll Farms in Millerton. Maple Knoll is a 260-cow dairy, operated by Barnes, his wife, and his brother. Fifteen years ago, Maple Knoll received the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Achievement award, and was ranked in the top five for the American Farm Bureau. Barnes is the vice president of the Potter/Tioga Farm Bureau and also serves as a volunteer fireman for the Millerton Fire Company.
First Citizens Community Bank is headquartered in Mansfield. It currently operate 28 offices throughout Tioga, Bradford, Potter, Clinton, Centre, Union, Lebanon, Lancaster, Schuylkill and Berks counties in Pennsylvania and Allegany County New York. They recently announced the acquisition of MidCoast Bank with offices located in Kent and New Castle counties in Delaware. For more information about First Citizens, visit www.firstcitizensbank.com, or find them on Facebook.