About Charles


Charles Altemus began farming when he was 16 years old, and first worked on local farms near his home.

Altemus started on his own in 1947, when he rented 10 acres of land and planted cabbage.

In 1954, he purchased his first 35 acres. Altemus started with a homemade tractor made from a Model A Ford, an old Dodge truck, and a single horse plow.

Altemus now is the owner and operator of Altemus Farms and Pikes Peak Nurseries. His farming operation is one of the largest in the region and cultivates land in Indiana, Cambria and Westmoreland counties.

Today, Altemus grows cabbage, corn, wheat and soybeans. For 50 years, he grew and sold potatoes to regional supermarkets and to the Snyder’s of Berlin potato chip company.

Charles and his wife, Mildred, purchased Pikes Peak Nurseries in 1975. As a wholesale business, the nursery sells seedlings and transplants throughout the United States. Locally, Pikes Peak operates a retail tree and shrubbery center along Route 422.

Altemus was the first recipient of the Hugh E. Cumming Cooperative Award for his significant contributions to the agriculture industry, and was a commodity committee member for PRO-FAC in Rochester, New York. He served on the Indiana County Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service board, the board of directors of the Indiana Healthcare Corporation, and the S&T Bank advisory board.

Charles said that his success is due to the help and support of his wife, Mildred; his brother, Fred and wife Judy; sons Jeffrey and Eric and their wives Denise and Carol; son-in-law Gerald Pribicko and his daughter Beverly; and his grandsons, Aaron Pribicko, Jacob Altemus, Andrew Pribicko and Adam Altemus, who all had hands-on roles in the business during their lives, along with his granddaughters, grandsons’ wives and all the great-grandchildren who complete the Altemus family.

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