The Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture has played key roles in developing many of the farming methods and institutions responsible for the abundance that is the hallmark of our modern food system. Practices that are now commonplace such as crop rotation and management of soil fertility have their roots in the Society’s robust dialogue and exploration of change. This exchange continues to the present day through the Society’s meetings, field trips and publication activities.

Members comprise a dynamic mix of occupations. Farmers, deans of agricultural colleges, state secretaries of agriculture, researchers, university professors, bankers, business owners, heads of organizations serving the food system, publishers and an array of stakeholders in the growing farm-to-table movement across the greater Philadelphia region.

This well-informed group ensures a spirited debate each time the Society meets, whether it is to hear a speaker address them at the monthly luncheons at the Union League or when they travel together on field trips to destinations that play key roles in our food system. In so doing, the Society provides a forum for leading authorities to present their views and initiate informal discussions on the critical issues and changes taking place in agriculture and the broader food system.

Our membership constitutes a critical resource. Collectively, they represent an impressive network of experts that comprises a reservoir of knowledge from which each member may draw as they conduct their day-to-day business. Members also have access the Society’s library housed at the University of Pennsylvania. Our collection contains rare manuscripts detailing early farming systems and books of historical importance to agriculture which are being added continuously.

The Society meets at eight monthly luncheon meetings at the Union League in Philadelphia and travels on two field trips per year. There are no meetings or field trips in July and August. New members are nominated by current members and approved by two members. Those interested in becoming members should submit their request to the membership committee by clicking here.