January 23, 2018 Vision 2018: Ernst Conservation Seeds Meadville, PA — January 23, 2018 — Ernst Conservation Seeds, the largest supplier of native grass and wildflower seeds in the eastern United States, anticipates another profitable year as it positions itself to meet sustained demand while driving new market development. The company will continue to invest in its workforce, facilities and processes to satisfy demand and increase operational efficiency Ernst grows, processes and sells hundreds of species of native and naturalized seeds and bioengineering (live plant) materials grown on approximately 10,000 acres in northwestern Pennsylvania. The company works with additional cooperating growers in Maryland, North Carolina and Oregon. Nearly 90 people work at Ernst Seeds during its busy seasons. Increased demand for ecologically and environmentally sound vegetation practices continue to drive an uptick in demand for seed mixes featuring a diverse selection of native plants. Examples of where these seed mixes are used include commercial and residential sites, conservation agriculture, vegetation of solar arrays, streambanks and riparian buffers, and revegetation of disturbed sites and rights-of-way. One of the top producers of switchgrass in the country, Ernst Seeds and Ernst Biomass, LLC continue to develop new markets for switchgrass and other warm season grasses in the protection of watersheds via riparian buffers, for use in livestock bedding and as an industrial absorption feedstock. In 2017, Calvin Ernst, founder and president, was named to a new 25-member advisory board made up of agriculture and associated industry leaders from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The new advisory board is charged with supporting Pennsylvania’s agricultural economic development by facilitating engagement with the private sector and fostering opportunities for productive partnerships. Ernst Seeds will serve as the local host of the 11th Eastern Native Grass Symposium, taking place at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie from September 17-19. This biennial symposium brings together stakeholders and academics from around the United States and Canada to share best practices, as well as emerging markets and trends in the use of native grasses and forbs (flowering plants). For more information on Ernst Conservation Seeds, visit www.ernstseed.com or call 814-336-2404.