Carl T. Shaffer
President, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
Carl T. Shaffer is the owner of Carl T. Shaffer Farms, an 1,800-acre crop farm in Mifflin Township, Columbia County, where he grows 1,200 acres of corn, 200 acres of wheat and 400 acres of soybeans. Among the much recognition for leadership and achievement in agriculture, Shaffer was named as a Master Farmer in 1996, one of the highest honors awarded to farmers in the commonwealth. He is the immediate past-president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, an organization of more than 55,000 farm and rural families throughout 54 county Farm Bureaus.
Shaffer's grandfather and father were farmers, but Carl originally planned to go to college and pursue an off-farm career. However, an injury to his father changed his plans. As he stepped in to take over the 100-acre farm's grain and vegetable operation, Shaffer discovered he liked the farming business. But the farm was too small to support two incomes, so with his father as co-signer, Shaffer borrowed money to buy a truck to haul fertilizer by night and deliver vegetables in the fall while working on the farm by day. When his dad retired a few years later, Shaffer hired a truck driver and took over the farm, which had expanded to 250 acres. Over the years he has continued to expand crop acreage.
Past leadership roles include: Membership on the Board of Directors of the American Farm Bureau Federation; the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Board of Directors and the Executive Committee; past member of the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law; Pennsylvania Farm Show Commission; and past chair of the Agriculture Advisory Committee to the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Shaffer also represented the insurance programs of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau subscribers on the Board Council of Nationwide Insurance. He is the former president of the Pennsylvania Friends of Ag Foundation, a charitable organization supported by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, which works to advance public understanding and support for agriculture and agribusiness. Past Farm Bureau leadership roles include two years as a state Board director and service as a county board member, vice president, president and legislative chairman of the Columbia County Farm Bureau.
Past leadership with other organizations includes service as chairman of the Farm Service Agency's Pennsylvania State Committee and as a founding member of the Columbia County Crop Improvement Association. He was also a member of his local County Extension Board of Directors.
Mr. Shaffer was elected by the delegates from agricultural societies for a three-year term beginning July 1997 and was re-elected for succeeding terms.