2021: A PFMA year in review
What a year! Even as PFMA and our members navigated changing pandemic regulations, we met demand, devised
solutions, inspired change and got it done.
With that in mind, we are sharing some of our PFMA successes from 2021:
The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association welcomes Charles Irons, Market Director for McLane Company, Inc., to its Board of Directors.
Irons spent the first part of his career working as a division manager in North Alabama for U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company. He managed 2,400 accounts and 10 sales representatives. In this role, he oversaw sales responsibilities for 15 distributor accounts and 24 convenience store accounts. He developed marketing plans for six specific geographical assignments during his tenure.
In 2009, Irons started his career with McLane Company as Market Director. He has led management responsibilities for Circle K, Thorntons, TravelCenters of America, Speedway, EG America and QuickChek, along with several regional accounts. Currently, he is responsible for teammates in the Northeast portion of the United States, which encompasses 13 states.
Irons was a mentor during the first McLane Sales Mentoring Program and led new sales hire training nationally.
“We are excited to welcome Charles and the experience he brings to the PFMA Board of Directors,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “McLane is a longtime supporter of the association, and we value having their voice on the board.”
Irons graduated from the University of North Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management. He is a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity.
He served as president of the Kentucky Wholesale and Distributor Association, executive board member of the Kentucky Grocers and Convenience Store Association, and president of Austin Touchdown Club and Decatur Youth Soccer.
Grab your butter knives and roll up your sleeves! The Butter Up! Contest is back ahead of the 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
The PA Farm Show and Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) have again partnered for this amateur butter sculpting contest. Entries are being accepted now through noon on Friday, Dec. 17.
“Entries from the first contest blew us away! Excitement was high, and it showed through the creativity and skills of all who participated,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “We are happy to bring back the contest and support our friends at the Farm Show and in the dairy industry. Special thanks to our PFMA members for donating prizes.”
Inspired by the PA Farm Show’s infamous 1,000-pound butter sculpture tradition, this mini virtual contest encourages Pennsylvanians to churn up Farm Show-themed designs at home. The friendly competition highlights the hard work and dedication of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry.
Any Pennsylvanian can create butter sculptures at home and submit entries to be judged on the PA Farm Show Facebook page. Each sculpture can use up to 5 pounds of butter, plus wire and a base for support. Entries are judged in six age categories: 5 and under, elementary, middle school, high school, adult and senior.
Get the complete rules, regulations and details on how to enter.
A winner and runner up will be named in each category. PFMA members The GIANT Company, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Wegmans, Square One Markets and Giant Eagle/GetGo have donated $50 and $25 gift cards for winners and runners up in each age group.
“Every year, millions tune in to see the unveiling of a 1,000-pound sculpture to kick off our annual Pennsylvania Farm Show,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Butter sculptures shine a spotlight on the goodness of Pennsylvania dairy and the hardworking people who keep nutritious products on our tables year-round. Now everyone can get into the act and show off their creativity with one of Pennsylvania’s favorite products.”
The Butter Up! contest first started in January 2021 to create engaging online activities during the virtual PA Farm Show. More than 130 people entered and countless PA Farm Show Facebook fans voted. Entries ranged from farm animals to barn scenes to apple pie.
The winner, Garrett McCall, submitted a detailed sculpture of The Good Shepherd. In September, he was invited to create a 20-pound butter sculpture depicting the 2022 PA Farm Show theme Harvesting More.
Good luck to this year’s participants!
Erica Koup Logsdon, Director of Communications and Media Relations