Calvin Ernst, Founder and President

Ernst Conservation Seeds was founded by Calvin Ernst in 1964 as Ernst Crownvetch Farms. This third generation family-owned and operated business was formed to meet the need for soil conservation along our interstate highways. Since that time, our business has evolved with the needs of the soil and water conservation industry. Driving this evolution are increased public and governmental interest in native species as a preferred first choice, sustainable landscape design, low-impact development, responsible reclamation and restoration, improved biodiversity, habitat development and evolving practices in conservation agriculture.

Today, we grow, process and sell over 400 species of native and naturalized seeds and live plant materials propagated on more than 8,000 total acres. While the majority of acreage is located in northwestern Pennsylvania, we own additional farm land in Florida, and have cooperative relationships in Maryland, North Carolina and Oregon. Our products are sold to conservation organizations, landscape architects, reclamation/restoration contractors, government agencies and private landowners throughout the United States and abroad.

We pay special attention to providing species that enhance the beauty of the environment by their colorful flowers, fruit and foliage. We go to great lengths to provide native seed mixes that reflect the wide variety of species that we have studied growing together in native environments. We provide a diversified selection of seeds and materials that are sure to be of the highest quality. Every order is harvested, processed and shipped with pride and dedication from our entire family and staff.

The individual needs of our customers remain our highest priority. We are dedicated to providing our customers with the best native and naturalized seeds and materials available. Our family and employees are dedicated to providing you with products that reflect our values. We trust that each order will be filled to your satisfaction.

“The environmental climate and professionals in the field are recognizing how important natives are in the restoration of our North American ecology, and that natives are the best choice for use in almost every scenario,” says Calvin. “We know how to harvest these seeds and grow them in a production environment. We know how to help our customers repeat that success in their own applications, and we take the time to do that with each customer.”

Ernst Conservation Seeds' headquarters in Meadville, PA