Emily Best was born and raised in Butler, PA, and graduated from Butler High School in 2002. She is the daughter of Don Best and Ellen Garbuny, both small business owners on Main Street in Butler. Her father's family has lived in Western PA for generations, while her mother's family immigrated to PA after escaping the Holocaust in Europe. Emily now lives in McConnellsburg with her longtime partner John, their son and two daughters, and their four cats.
A lifelong learner, Emily received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and her master’s degree from American University in Environmental Policy. After completing her education, Emily served her country as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa. While there, Emily decided that upon going home, she would dedicate herself to learning about agriculture in Pennsylvania. She believed, as she still does, that our rural communities are the key to a healthy society, as the rural spaces grow the food and fuel to power our economic growth.
In 2012, Emily joined New Morning Farm in Huntingdon County as an apprentice farmer. She managed the farm’s stand at the weekly market, ran the greenhouse, and worked with the farm’s owners to understand all facets of running a successful farm in Central PA. At this time, Emily found her voice as an advocate for farmers and rural places, and began volunteering with the National Young Farmers Coalition. In this capacity, she organized young farmers in PA, built a website consolidating resources for young farmers, and spoke at several events, including a White House Rural Forum in State College.
After four years at New Morning Farm, Emily joined Tuscarora Organic Growers Co-Operative, where she served as General Manager from late 2015 til the fall of 2018. In this role, Emily honed the leadership skills and problem-solving ability needed to bring change to the State Senate. She worked towards streamlining and modernizing the functionality of the co-op to save time and money, while improving efficiency and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction. At the Co-op, she experienced firsthand the successes that can occur when many folks from different backgrounds and experiences come together for a common goal.
During this time, Emily has realized that those claiming to represent our region in Harrisburg are not improving lives for the better. Our current Senator and Representatives have allowed our communities to be ravaged by the opioid crisis and a lack of healthcare providers, standing by and allowing the Republican Party to play politics with the ACA and CHIP. As your Senator in Harrisburg, Emily's number one priority will be making our families healthy again, and fighting for a healthcare system which works for everyone. No one taking care of an elder relative, a new baby, or a family member trapped in addiction should have to fight with the insurance company to obtain the needed care.
Emily serves on the Board of Directors for FRESHFARM (Washington, DC), and the advisory board for the PA Agricultural Surplus for the Central PA Food Bank (Harrisburg). She is a committee member of the Fulton County Democratic Committee.