On May 18, 2018, Governor Tom Wolf named Robert N. Barley to the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board. Mr. Barley was unanimously confirmed by the State Senate on June 18, 2018.
Rob is a co-owner in Star Rock Farms, along with his brother Tom and cousin Abe, where they milk 1,500 cows, in addition to operating several other farm businesses which include crop farming, hog finishing, a broiler operation and custom cattle feedlot.
Rob is responsible for the financial aspects of the businesses, including banking relationships and legal and tax issues. Rob also manages the businesses’ human resources, with 60 people employed by Star Rock. Rob has also successfully worked to develop markets for Star Rock products and increase risk management efforts.
In addition to his role within Star Rock, Rob is currently a member of the Lancaster County Ag Council’s executive committee and serves on the Lancaster County Extension Board. He is a former board member of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and the Farm and Home Foundation.
Rob is the Ministry Council Vice Chairman and Missions Chairman at Grace Community Church of Willow Street. He and his wife Shelly have four children, ranging in ages from 15 to 26, and one granddaughter.
James A. Van Blarcom
Jim Van Blarcom of Columbia Cross Roads, Bradford County, was unanimously confirmed by the state senate on June 17, 2014 to serve as a member of the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board.
Mr. Van Blarcom is a dairy farmer with 40 years experience in the Pennsylvania dairy industry. With his son and two sons-in-law, he manages a 500 cow dairy farm. Mr. Van Blarcom also owns, with his brother, a 5,600 farrow to wean hog facility.
Mr. Van Blarcom served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission from 2012 until his appointment to the Board. He also was a director of the Bradford County Conservation district from 1989 until his appointment to the Board, serving as chairman from 1999 to 2009. Mr. Van Blarcom’s public service also includes serving as a Troy Area School District Director and as a member of the Troy Area School District Foundation, of which he was a founding member, since 2003.
In addition to his public service, Mr. Van Blarcom has been active in dairy and agricultural organizations. He was a Bradford-Sullivan County Farm Bureau Director from 1990 to 2005, serving as County President from 1995 to 2005. Mr. Van Blarcom has also been a member of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau State Dairy and Natural Resources Advisory Committees. He has also served on the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council board.
Mr. Van Blarcom has also received the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Award and the Bradford County Conservation District Outstanding Operator Award.
“I am honored to be appointed and excited for the opportunity to serve Pennsylvania dairy families, citizens, milk dealers, and the entire Pennsylvania dairy industry,” Mr. Van Blarcom stated regarding his appointment.
Kristi Rooker KassimerConsumer Member
Kristi Rooker Kassimer of Smock, Fayette County, was unanimously confirmed by the state senate on June 15, 2021 to serve as the consumer member of the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board. Kristi resides on a 10-acre livestock farm with her sons Cohen and Wyatt, where they raise Boer goats.
Kristi owns and operates Kascom Media, a consulting firm focused on providing clients with strategic marketing and communications solutions. In particular, she works closely with the Fayette County Commissioners, Fayette Chamber of Commerce and Fayette County Agricultural Improvement Association, leading multiple public relations projects.
Kristi is the former Director of Marketing and Communications for the Pennsylvania Beef Council (PBC) In her role, Kristi implemented state retail and foodservice marketing programs promoting beef and veal. She also coordinated consumer and youth education events, developed state and national marketing campaigns, and managed the PBC's media relations efforts.
Prior to joining the PBC, Kristi worked at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) where she administered the PA Preferred® program, as well as the PA Fair Fund program. Kristi also served as the spokesperson for a variety of regulatory and marketing agricultural issues. While at PDA, Kristi was recognized as a 2009 Governor's Award for Excellence Nominee and a 2008 PDA Excellent Performance Award Winner. In 2013, she was honored as one of the Pennsylvania Business Central's "Foremost Under 40."
Kristi grew up on a beef farm and exhibited 4-H market steers, lambs and hogs. She is a 2006 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania where she received her BS in Graphic Communications Technology. Kristi proudly served as the 2004 Fayette County Fair Queen and went on to represent Pennsylvania as the State Fair Queen in 2005. She is currently a member of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation Selection Committee and Fayette County 4-H Professional Development Committee, as well as a Fayette County 4-H Beef Leader. Kristi also helped launch the World of Good Foundation and is active in Fayette County Red Cross Leadership and Asbury United Methodist Church