Press Release: Historic Gettysburg Farm Acquired Via Adams County Economic Development Funding

“Brown’s Ranch” Developing into Beef Cattle Operation

 GETTYSBURG, PA (August 16, 2017) – A low-interest loan facilitated through Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) and Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) helped secure the purchase of a historical 232-acre farm in Adams County that’s being developed into a cow calf operation.

“I’ve been searching for a property in Pennsylvania, looking for a way to get back into agriculture, for three years. There aren’t many cattle farms in PA, but this property has the most character out of any that I saw… it was a natural fit,” says John Boyer, 38, of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County.  Currently a defense contractor, Boyer grew up in the agricultural industry and studied animal science at Texas Tech.

A $400,000, 15-year low-interest (two percent) loan processed through ACEDC and PIDA assisted Boyer in the purchase of “Brown’s Ranch,” Gettysburg. The farm has the distinction of bordering the Gettysburg National Military Park along Confederate Avenue; the property’s home was used during the Battle of Gettysburg as the headquarters for Confederate General A.P. Hill.

Financing was organized by ACEDC Vice President Kaycee Kemper through PIDA, and local banker Wayne Steinour, Adams County National Bank.

Boyer’s plans for the property include hay production, and a cow/calf operation. He says financially, Steinour’s recommendation to apply for a PIDA loan to cover part of the financing, was “beneficial,” since that portion of the loan will remain fixed at two percent for 15 years.

“Agriculture remains one of Adams County’s top three industries, thanks to innovative growers and producers such as John Boyer,” says Robin Fitzpatrick, ACEDC President.

“Additionally, we are grateful for community partnerships with local lenders such as Wayne Steinour at ACNB Bank who realize the value of enhancing financing by leveraging ACEDC’s relationships and contacts at the state level,” Fitzpatrick says.

ACEDC is certified annually by the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in order to process and administer loan and grant programs for Adams County’s businesses.

This project marks the 143rd low-interest business loan facilitated by ACEDC—and the 46th within Adams County’s agricultural community—since 1996. Previous agricultural loan projects, located throughout the entire county, supported projects that included cattle, orchards, chickens, crop production, eggs, turkeys, and wineries.  Agriculture is considered one of Adams County’s three main pillars of industry, sharing that distinction with tourism and manufacturing/industrial.

Overall, since 1996, ACEDC has secured $29.7 million+ in total public investment via low-interest loans and grants from DCED and $80 million+ in total private investment via local commercial financing.

Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), Gettysburg, PA, is a private, 501 (c)(6) not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1989 as a result of a task force initiated by Adams County business leaders. The corporation is governed by a board of director comprised of many local and regional community leaders from all sectors of industry. ACEDC’s mission is to improve the economy of Adams County while preserving and enhancing the quality of life by formulating, implementing, and promoting economic development strategies for sustained investment and employment opportunities in Adams County. For more information, see, follow us on Twitter (@AdamsCoEDC), Facebook (, and LinkedIn.



The 232-acre Gettysburg cattle farm known as “Brown’s Ranch” has been purchased by John Boyer via financing arranged by Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) in partnership with Adams County National Bank and Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA).

September 7: You’re Invited to Celebrate Four C’s

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, August 10, 2017:

By Kaycee Kemper

A lot happens between August and September—harvests are gathered, a new school year begins, and we enjoy our final summer vacations, daytrips, and picnics. After Labor Day, we return to a more regular work schedule, and we know fall is on its way.

This year, we invite everyone to mark their calendars for the Thursday after Labor Day—September 7. That evening, during a wine & cheese reception from 5-7 pm, we look forward to welcoming all community leaders invested and interested in the efforts of our organization, Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC). The celebration will revolve around four words that all begin with the letter C:

  • Community
  • Commitment
  • Cooperation
  • Communication

If you think about it, implementing those four words into your business can truly determine your success. At ACEDC, we especially relate these four words to building relationships with partners of all sizes and types.

On September 7, we look forward to thanking all community partners for their support in 2017. And we look forward to sharing two exciting pieces of news:

  • We will be rolling out results from our first-ever eSurvey! During the summer, we gathered lots of feedback about what makes Adams County a great place for living, playing, and working… and what we need to improve upon. We look forward to sharing and discussing these results!
  • ACEDC is revealing a “facelift” as well! Because a certain symmetry exists between and among ACEDC, Adams County Industrial Development Corporation and the Adams County General Authority, each separate and distinct, yet an integral part of an economic development system—which gets confusing—we will be debuting our NEW logo and branding that will represent each organization with one dynamic message.
  • The September 7 celebration is being made possible by a very generous investor, CenturyLink, thanks to Deborah Keyser. CenturyLink’s support is greatly appreciated!

Event invitations are being mailed and emailed; however we don’t want to leave anyone out. If you haven’t received an invitation, we still extend a warm welcome. But please do RSVP by August 31 via phone (717-334-0042, ext. 0).

Adams County’s economic success is shared by all who are committed to investing, partnering, collaborating, and communicating for the good of our community. For that we are truly grateful.

Kaycee Kemper, Vice President of ACEDC, can be reached at 717-334-0042, ext. 2. For additional information, see, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for the latest Adams County business news.

Help Us to Help You

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, July 13, 2017:

By Robin Fitzpatrick

We (Adams County Economic Development Corporation staff) are passionate about advocating for Adams County’s businesses, economy, jobs, workforce, and quality of life. “Work Smart. Live Happy.” is the new slogan for the state’s economic development partners of which ACEDC is one. We realize that living, working, and playing in the greater Adams County community requires a balance and blend of business/industry, housing, preservation, services, recreation, etc. Many of our past columns have focused on these very topics.

Recently, ACEDC staff attended the PEDA (PA Economic Development Association) conference. As is often the case with conferences, we left inspired, renewed, and armed with lots of information and resources. Our biggest takeaway: The need to survey the Adams County population in order to gather opinions. Almost immediately, we began creating a survey to gauge the major challenges, along with the major benefits, of living and working in Adams County.

The survey is our first-ever e-survey. We promise, the survey is easy, painless, and brief. There are less than a dozen questions, a mixture of multiple choice, open-ended, and ranking questions. The response thus far has been very exciting! But of course, the larger the response rate, the better our findings will be. That’s why we are encouraging as many people as possible to take ten minutes (or less!) and complete the survey. Surely, everyone can find ten minutes to let their thoughts be known. For this, we are truly thankful.

How can you take the survey? Again, it’s easy. There is a link located on the home page of our website,

What kinds of questions can you expect?

  • We are asking for your thoughts on Adams County’s economy, jobs, and business climate.
  • We want to know about issues business owners may be facing.
  • Do you know about all of the FREE services we provide at ACEDC?
  • Would you like to meet with ACEDC staff to learn more about our services or to find out if you quality for a low-interest loan program?
  • What challenges do you see within the municipality in which you live or work?
  • And what do you see as Adams County’s strengths? Why do you love living or working here?

All of your answers will help us to better shape our future services and programs. We want to be armed with all the tools Adams County needs to be a successful, thriving place to work smart and live happy.

Help us to help you. Please take the survey today.

Thank you so very much and we look forward to sharing the results soon!

Robin Fitzpatrick serves as President of ACEDC. For additional information, see, call 717-334-0042, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Economic Development: Focus of June 20 Commissioners’ Forum

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, June 8, 2017:

The new Adams County Human Services facility, 525 Boyds School Road, Gettysburg

By Robin Fitzpatrick

I have an invitation for all Adams County residents! Whether you use a traditional paper calendar or have evolved to an electronic calendar, be sure to mark, type, text, or otherwise save the date of June 20.

The new Adams County Human Services Building is ready to be unveiled! This is a fantastic example of economic development, adaptive reuse, within our own county government. The former Herff-Jones facility has been revamped to house a multitude of county services under one roof.

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“We have been extremely anxious for the public and all staff to visit the new Adams County Human Services Building,” says Randy Phiel, Chairman, Adams County Commissioners. “Phase 1 that has been completely included Children & Youth Services, Probation, IT, Security, and Maintenance. Phase 2 is being completed by the end of May with MHIDD, Court Operations, Multi-Purpose Meeting Room, Domestic Relations, and two DJ Offices being added. Phase 3 will include the large courtroom and the Sheriff’s satellite office.”

Commissioner Marty Qually says the new facility makes sense, financially and organizationally. “The new facility relieves the county of paying leases,” he says. “It combines the services previously housed in two buildings we were renting, plus a third building we owned. This will allow for better coordination of services and communication between offices.”

“Additionally, when it comes to mental health services, we’ve never had case services located in Adams County, “ says Qually. “The new facility creates 10-13 new jobs in Adams County.”

The building will be open to tours from 4-7 pm and again from 8:30-9:30 pm. So, you may ask, what is happening between 7-8:30? That’s where we, Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) comes into the mix.

The Commissioners’ Forum is your chance to learn about economic development efforts in the county, coordinated between our office and the Adams County Office of Planning and Development (ACOPD). We are especially excited to share in this presentation, as your united team of economic development professionals in Adams County! In addition to myself and colleague Kaycee Kemper of the ACEDC, we will be joined by Sherri Clayton-Williams, Harlan Lawson, and Andy Merkel of the ACOPD.

I believe our presentation will be a fascinating look at Adams County. The county’s new software allows us to prepare visuals—maps—created from various sets of data. What an amazing tool! Visualizing data on a map provides a fresh, informed perspective. We are aiming to answer questions such as:

  • Where does current development exist in the county?
  • Where is preservation focused?
  • Where are the county’s residential developments located?

But the word “forum” indicates discussion—and that’s where YOU come in. We invite the public to come with questions regarding economic development, its role in Adams County, and your input.

“One of the most important things is residents being active in government,” Qually says. “If you have any questions about economic prosperity in the county, bring them on June 20. You’ll have access to two economic development offices, and our county commissioners, and we can address your questions and concerns directly.”

Robin Fitzpatrick serves as President of ACEDC. For additional information, see, call 717-334-0042, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Powerhouse Partnership

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, May 11, 2017

By Kaycee Kemper

Partnerships are the lifeblood of our work here at the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), and we have recently helped to form a strategic partnership that very well may be the most impactful one to date.

ACEDC, Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce, Destination Gettysburg, and the Adams County Office of Planning and Development have partnered to focus on business attraction efforts in Adams County. Each entity plays an integral role to retain and support businesses in Adams County.  Over the past several months, these entities began discussing which industries our communities can sustain and which industries we would like to attract.

One product that resulted from our meetings thus far: a cooperative advertising campaign hitting regional publications, titled “Advantage Adams.”

Using information provided by a study commissioned by Adams County Office of Planning and Development (ACOPD), the partners are diving into the data and will also be holding industry roundtable discussions throughout the coming months. Various business leaders will be invited to attend the roundtable sessions to discuss challenges and opportunities facing their particular industry. We are interested in learning how our partnership can assist existing businesses to ensure their success into the future. Let us know if you are interested in participating!

You have heard Robin Fitzpatrick, President of ACEDC, talk about 2017 being “the year of the municipality.” ACEDC and ACOPD are also working together to meet with all 34 municipalities this year to learn where and what type of growth is welcome and where it is not.

One of our partners, Sherri Clayton-Williams, Director of the Adams County Office of Planning and Development, has incredible technology at her fingertips, aiding in the identification of parcels of land or buildings poised for development/redevelopment.  The Planned Community Areas (PCA) tool will be extremely helpful during our upcoming meetings with municipalities.

“In our capacity, we can assist ACEDC by using maps to locate a parcel of land or a building. The PCA tool enables us to comprehensively look at parcels of land; it helps us visualize things within our community such as areas where utilities are available, the transportation network, whether land can be adapted to meet the needs of a special project; we can see zoning overlaid on the map; it’s a very flexible tool used to analyze a variety of data,” Clayton-Williams explains.

“Meeting together with municipalities will be very beneficial,” says Clayton-Williams. “It will provide us with a lot of input we can factor into our economic development plan and strategy. We know that land use decisions are made at the local level first.”

Overall, Clayton-Williams says the community strategic partnership is a positive move. “It’s a unique opportunity for all of the partners to work together, and it’s important for the future of economic development in the county. It’s refreshing to hear different perspectives, but in the end we all want the same thing—communities where everyone can live, work, and play. We need to find that balance together.”

Stay tuned for the next Commissioners’ Forum, where the community is invited and encouraged to attend to learn more about this partnership and how we’re pulling our resources to work together for the greater good of Adams County and its business community.

Kaycee Kemper serves as Vice-President of ACEDC. For additional information, see, call 717-334-0042, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Citing Jobs and Expanded Tax Base, ACEDC Endorses Mason Dixon Downs Project

President Robin Fitzpatrick Says Proposal Aligns with Adams County’s Top Two Industries

Gettysburg, Pa. (May 1, 2017) – Citing jobs and “unprecedented” economic development opportunities, Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) today announced it has endorsed Mason Dixon Downs, a proposed harness racetrack, casino and hotel project in Freedom Township, Adams County. The project is being proposed by Gettysburg native, businessman and philanthropist David LeVan.

“ACEDC’s Board of Directors is pleased to support the Mason Dixon Downs proposal,” said President Robin Fitzpatrick. “It augments Adams County’s two top industries— tourism/hospitality and agriculture.” Continue reading Citing Jobs and Expanded Tax Base, ACEDC Endorses Mason Dixon Downs Project

Economic Impact of Adams County’s Fruit Belt


By Robin Fitzpatrick

We often refer to Adams County’s three main industries as our pillars of industry—agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing. Within the county’s ag industry, we have long known that fruit is number one in production and is also the reason why value added processing and manufacturing businesses are located here.  But we have not known the full extent and depth of our fruit belt’s economic impact—until now.

A comprehensive, two-year study just concluded, led by the Adams County Office of Planning and Development, in partnership with the Adams County Fruit Growers’ Association, the Penn State Extension Service, and conducted by The Chesapeake Group with TischlerBise.

“The Adams County fruit belt’s economic impact on the county’s economy is $580 million annually—and that’s a conservative estimate,” according to Bicky Redman, senior planner in the Adams County Office of Planning and Development. “Beyond that, the Adams County fruit belt’s economic impact on the state of Pennsylvania is two to four times that.” That translates into $1.16—$2.32 billion in economic activity. Continue reading Economic Impact of Adams County’s Fruit Belt

April 19: Economic Breakfast Chock Full of Indicators

By Kaycee Kemper

One of the region’s most respected economic experts will address Adams County business leaders on April 19. Warren M. Hurt, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for F&M Trust Company, is the featured speaker for the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce Economic Breakfast, being held in partnership with the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC). Continue reading April 19: Economic Breakfast Chock Full of Indicators

Because We’re a Commonwealth

acedc-projects-in-upper-adams-sdBy Robin Fitzpatrick

I’m going to put you on the spot today and start with three questions. Let’s see how you do!

Q: Why is planning for land use important?

A: Similar to other plans, it outlines where we want to go! The goal of land-use planning is to further the health, safety and welfare of people and their communities by meeting their needs while safeguarding natural resources. It’s the process by which lands are evaluated and assessed to become a basis for decisions involving land use and configuration. Here’s a hint.  Remember the terms evaluated and assessed!

Q: Who has the most influence over land use in your community? Continue reading Because We’re a Commonwealth

ACEDC Announces SAY Plastics is Recipient of Ben Franklin Technology Partners Funding

McSherrystown Company Applauded for “Innovation and Vision”

SAY Plastics, McSherrystown, Adams County
SAY Plastics, McSherrystown, Adams County

GETTYSBURG, PA (January 17, 2017) – Adams County’s SAY Plastics is one of eleven Pennsylvania companies receiving funding and services from Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP), a state initiative that supports emerging tech-based companies and existing manufacturers seeking diversification in innovating ways.

SAY Plastics will receive $125,000 to pursue a new market—the transportation industry—and carve out a new niche by re-engineering replacement parts for railcars, trucks, and buses. Traditionally, transportation parts have been composed of metal and fiberglass materials; SAY Plastics is utilizing a new approach—their customized SAYtooling system—to design thermoformed, cost-effective, plastic components.

Ben Franklin’s funding came about as a result of a referral by Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), Gettysburg. Previously, ACEDC financed two Small Business First loans to SAY Plastics.

“We salute SAY Plastics for their innovation and vision,” said ACEDC President Robin Fitzpatrick. “SAY Plastics is at the forefront of Adams County’s growing tech and plastics industry, taking advantage of our strategic location along the Mason Dixon Line with easy access to major U.S. markets, as well as our dedicated workforce, and excellent quality of life.” Continue reading ACEDC Announces SAY Plastics is Recipient of Ben Franklin Technology Partners Funding