Last updated on September 15th, 2023 at 03:35 pm
Andy Bater, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau District 6 Board Director, advocates for agricultural policies to improve farm families’ quality of life. He collaborates with local farmers and stakeholders through organizations like the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Centre County Farm Bureau (past president), and Penn State Extension Council. In June 2022, USDA Secretary Vilsack appointed Andy to the State Committee for the Pennsylvania Farm Service Agency. Later that year, Former Governor Wolf appointed him to the Advisory Committee for the new Pennsylvania Food Policy Council. Andy owns and operates Fifth Estate Growers LLC near State College in Centre County. He primarily cultivates switchgrass on marginal land, selling it as mulch to strawberry growers. Penn State has used his switchgrass for biofuel research. He actively improves avian and forest habitat on his farm, focusing on two endangered warbler species. As chairman of the Wildlife and Fisheries Committee for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, he leads initiatives managing the intersection of agriculture and the natural world. Coming from a 4th generation farm family, Andy initially worked in radio and television engineering before returning to agriculture. His expertise includes terrestrial and satellite digital communications, standards development, regulatory affairs, and disaster recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina and the September 11 attacks. In 2019, Chairman Pai of the Federal Communications Commission selected him for the Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States. Andy works on issues including rural broadband availability and Artificial Intelligence in the Task Force. He also chairs the national Technology Issues Advisory Committee for the American Farm Bureau Federation. Andy applies knowledge, understanding, and empathy to diverse communities. He is a registered yoga instructor with advanced training in mental health and in the field of Religious Studies. In spring 2023, he joined the DEIA Advisory Council for AgriSafe Network, a national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing health disparities in the agricultural community.