The Delaware Farm Bureau is tapping Pennsylvania mushroom farmer Joseph Poppiti to head the organization.
Poppiti grew up in Delaware. He studied horticulture at Penn State, owned a landscaping firm and now grows specialty mushrooms with more than 300 employees and an $18 million budget.
He also has experience writing state and federal grants.
Poppiti says he’s glad to be back working in the First State
“I’ve been involved in farming all my life, and I’ve been around the Delaware, Delmarva area all my life working with farmers,” said Poppiti. “So it was kind of a natural fit to come back and take on this responsibility.”
Poppiti adds through the mushroom industry he’s been working with First State farmers for years. Now, he’s is looking forward to working with the state of Delaware on their behalf.
“I’ll be in constant contact with our farmer members and support them in issues that are important to them,” he said. “If it’s working with legislators, if it's working with the Delaware Department of Agriculture, whatever the entity, that’s my responsibility, to work with those entities on behalf of the farmers.”
Poppiti says he’s been getting acquainted with the bureau’s programs in his first two weeks on the job.
The executive director position has been vacant at the Delaware Farm Bureau for months since Pam Bekerian retired after serving for 10 years.
The bureau is a nonprofit dating back to 1944. It represents more than 8,000 farm families in the First State.