In 1922 Claude R. Yerger and Bertha Kimmel Yerger purchased 120 acres in Kiskiminetas Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Shortly after they moved to the farm, they named it Kistaco (Kiss/tuh/koe) Farm, which is an acronym derived from Kiskiminetas Township, Armstrong County. Before 1923 they planted their first apple trees.
Over the next 30 years, Kistaco Farm produced everything from milk, hogs, and eggs to fruits and vegetables. Apples were then, as now, the main crop.
In 1950 William L. Hileman, who had worked on the farm from the age of 10, went into partnership with Mr. Yerger. In 1957 Bill married the Yerger’s youngest daughter, Lois Jean. By this time the farm had transitioned to strictly fruit and vegetable production.
Through the 1960s and early 1970s Bill and Jean Hileman took the business from mainly wholesale to direct marketing by establishing Kistaco Farm’s first on-site farm market. They also attended many weekly farmers’ markets including Heidelberg, Greensburg, and East Liberty.
In 1986, shortly after graduating from Penn State, Timothy W. Hileman, Bill and Jean’s oldest son, went into partnership with Bill.
In 1996 Tim and his wife, Suzanne, became the owners of Kistaco Farm. Currently they, along with the help of their oldest daughter, Miranda, continue producing apples, cider and many other seasonal fruits and vegetables on the 235-acre farm.
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