R. Wayne Harpster
Mr. R. Wayne Harpster is a 1955 graduate of the Tyrone Area High School. During his high school days, he was active in the vocational agriculture program where he received the Future Farmers of America FFA – PA Keystone Farmer Award and the American Farmer Award. Mr. Harpster participated in showing dairy cattle at the Huntingdon County Fair and State Holstein Show. Mr. Harpster also participated in football as a quarterback. In Grades nine through twelve, he proudly claims that he never missed playing an inning of varsity baseball.
Following high school graduation, Mr. Harpster served in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1957 on the CVA43 Aircraft Carrier USS Coral Sea, serving six months in the Mediterranean during the Suez Canal crisis. He experienced sailing from the Equator to Cape Horn, to the Pacific Ocean, to Washington State.
Mr. Harpster established and developed Evergreen Farms in Spruce Creek Valley, starting with seventeen Holstein cows and growing to the current number of 6,000+ cows and eighty employees. In 2002, the business received the prestigious “Dairy of Distinction Award.” Today, the dairy business is under the ownership and operation of his sons.
During his business and agriculture career, Mr. Harpster has received many awards, including recipient of the Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer Award in 2003; the American Forage and Grassland Council “Distinguished Grasslander Award” in 2007; the Charles E. Cowan Memorial Award in 1992; Degree of Honorary Keystone Farmer, Future Farms of America in 1989; and PA Forage and Grassland Farmer of the Year.
Over the years, Mr. Harpster has been very active in membership and holding leadership positions for various organizations, including but not limited to, the Special Board for National Holstein Association; President and Director of the Huntington County Holstein Association (member for over fifty years); PA State Dairy Herd Improvement Association Board; and Director of Pennsylvania Forage and Grassland (member for over forty-five years). He has been a member of the Ancient Gastronomical Order of Rattling Reptiles since 1947; Grand Imperial Rattler since 1978; member for fifty plus years and current President of the Tyrone Fishing Club; and Honorary Member of the Spruce Creek Rod and Gun Club.
In addition to his business career, Mr. Harpster has been very active in community service. He has served as a Franklin Township Supervisor since 1980. Other services include:
- Hosted “On-The-Fly” Charity Event for sixteen years. With the help of community volunteers and sponsors, raised three quarters of a million dollars for Centre County Youth Services.
- Hosts and supports “Family Tyes” – a high school fishing program from the Baldwin-Whitehall School District and other school districts.
- Started and supports “Wayne’s Cold Water Kids” – a successful fishing day program for fifty students ages ten through seventeen; in collaboration with Trout Unlimited.
- Supports numerous Trout Unlimited events and raffles. Sponsors fishing for Stream Improvement throughout the state.
- Supports and hosts “Project Healing Waters Fly-fishing” – helping veterans.
- Provided use of stream to Penn State University for minority groups; organized by Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC).
- Supported and hosted hundreds of children in dairy promotion programs.
- Featured in and made the front cover of the following publications: Farm Journal; Dairy Today; Lancaster Farmer; Farmshine; PA Farmer; Men’s Health; Dairy Herd Management; and Fly Fisherman.
- Featured in two ESPN shows filmed at the farm; and one on The Learning Channel.
Mr. Harpster has traveled all over the world, to all seven continents. He has hunted and fished in many destinations, including Queen Charlotte Island; Japan; Australia; New Zealand; Tasmania; Mexico; Honduras; Argentina; Chile; Alaska; Canada; Russia; South Africa; and Zimbabwe.
Mr. Harpster has had the distinction of meeting and cleaning trout for two former presidents: President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and Jimmy Carter in 1979. He had the privilege of staying in the White House and at Camp David during President Carter’s term in office. He also traveled in a formal delegation with President Carter to China and Japan, meeting leaders and diplomats and visiting The Great Wall and other national treasurers. He has travelled to many other world destinations with President Carter. The two have remained friends for over 35 years and Mr. Harpster continues to host President Carter and his family for yearly visits to Spruce Creek.