Several days ago we published an announcement of the Lancaster Ag Products “Real Health Conference” slated for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12-13. Today, company owners Reuben and Mary Stoltzfus announced that the conference must be canceled: Their facility was crushed under three feet of wet snow over the weekend — a result of the huge storm which swept up the East Coast. There was no other location available to reschedule the conference. It would have brought together ag leaders like Dr. Arden Andersen and Dr. Don Huber plus many others, but Reuben says in his letter to participants that they’ll be rescheduled for next year.
Here’s the note from Reuben and Mary:
I want to share some breaking news from Lancaster Ag. We have experienced a natural disaster, and our warehouse has been demolished. Therefore, the Real Health Conference has been canceled. Here are the details.
Last weekend, Lancaster saw one of the biggest snowstorms in decades. We had close to three feet of moist, heavy snow. At 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, I learned that one of Lancaster Ag’s main buildings, a half-acre in size, had crumbled under the extreme weight of the snow. There was no one in the building at the time, for which we are grateful. But the loss is significant: there is damaged inventory, huge cleanup needs and, of course, a rebuilding effort that will take weeks.
This may be the most difficult letter I have ever had to write. We are just two weeks from hosting our annual Real Health Conference. Our group of speakers is better than ever, and my heart has been overflowing as I’ve imagined hundreds of like-minded people coming together to share and learn new ways to flourish in health, diet, lifestyle and agriculture.
The Real Health Conference is the heartbeat of Lancaster Ag, and for me personally it is a real highlight of my year.
But God’s ways are higher than my own, and He has planned other things for us. Thus Mary and I have decided to cancel The Real Health Conference this year. Our dear friends and counselors have supported us in this decision.
We have been praying to our God to ask for His wisdom. Nothing is outside of His control, and we want to be faithful to the opportunities He gives us, even as the setbacks loom large.
The Real Health Conference inspires all of us to better practices and better lives. We explored alternate possibilities to host the conference. We looked at other facilities. We thought of postponing or hosting a smaller event. Yet none of the alternatives is workable this year.
Spring is just around the corner, and we know that new things are possible. First of all, God willing, we will host The Real Health Conference next year. The thought of it lifts my spirits tremendously. We hope to invite the same speakers.
If you registered for the conference, you will receive a reimbursement check within the next two (2) weeks (regardless of how you paid). Feel free to contact Tina Horst (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions regarding payments.
We will focus in the coming months on rebuilding our facility, restoring our inventory and meeting all of our customers’ needs in the planting season.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to each one of you for your friendship, prayers and support. We couldn’t get through this without your support. We will miss fellowshipping with you in person this year. Please continue to pray for Mary and me, for our family and our employees. We have much work to do. We will do it with joyful hearts as we think about you, our customers and friends, and the opportunity to continue to serve you through Lancaster Ag Products.
Gratefully, Reuben C. Stoltzfus
I’ve known Reuben many years. When we first visited him in Pennsylvania, his company had a modest storefront warehouse, with a church meeting room on the second floor. His innovative spirit and knowledge of ag needs has built a very large supply service reaching several states.
Here’s a link to a PDF of Lancaster Ag’s product and service catalog. The catalog’s opening pages contain a tribute to two of our special friends, Jerry Brunetti and Jim Helfter. I have told Jerry Brunetti that he probably extended my life at least a couple of decades, as he led our family to the nutritional approach of fighting cancer. And Jim Helfter was an early pioneer and provider of probiotic products, based on the concept that digesting tract organisms are foundational to good nutrition and a strong immune system.
Biological farming pioneers like that are hard to replace. Fortunately they’re being renewed with upcoming generations! That was evident the past couple of weeks when almost 1,000 farmers packed the Practical Farmers of Iowa annual conference, and well over 300 joined the AgriEnergy Resources conference.
The stream of profitable, accurate Renewable Farming information is growing, and is more accessible than ever thanks to modern web delivery systems!