We support all areas of Agriculture, from small family farms to large commercial operations. Over the years we've come across many unique and interesting stories we'd like to share with you.
In 1946, Judy Schultz's grandparents began growing tomatoes for Campbell's Soup. In the early sixties, the family built a roadside stand that would transform the business, Wilcox Farms, into a family affair growing and selling fresh produce year-round and running one of the coolest corn mazes in the state. The Farm, which is located on the outskirts of Boyertown, added an ice cream parlor in 2003 serving locally made Nelson's Ice cream. Next came the corn mazes - over eight miles of trails wind through a 25-acre cornfield. Kids and adults can also enjoy a play area, tractor hayrides, and a pumpkin patch. Seventy-one years' later, this 4^th^generation family farm is still giving other families something to smile about!
Linford Snyder has seen just about everything in the farming industry. He was only fifteen when his father passed away and he chose to drop out of school and take over the family dairy operation. Since then, Linford has started and operated a variety of farms and other businesses. In 1985, he and his brothers began an excavating and concrete business, which is now managed by three of his sons. In 1990, Linford shifted his farming focus to hogs, which his brothers still run today. Then came turkeys, veal, ducks and eventually layers.
Linford began raising layers when he contracted with Penn Embryo to produce eggs for the manufacture of flu vaccines. In time, he converted this business into an independent contract with Deb El Foods, sending eggs to New Jersey and New York for liquid eggs. More recently, Linford collaborated with an individual who builds large cage free aviary houses. Their operation has a total of 1.2 million layers and 700,000 pullets, and has become a vertically integrated business that now ships eggs to Deb El Foods for table eggs in addition to liquid eggs.
Linford's business ventures have not stopped with poultry. He also owns the Lebanon Valley Truck Wash as a bio-security measure for other farmers, runs the Fredericksburg Livestock Auction, and is a partner in a discount grocery store adjacent to the auction.
Linford has a long history of helping young families get started in farming. He buys farms and teaches them how to run them, then eventually sells them to the family. According to Linford, "Sometimes, you just need help to get it going. I know there are good people everywhere, and I like to be one of them."
Manning Farm Dairy is a 4th generation dairy farm located in Dalton, PA. In 1920, Paul Manning's grandfather purchased the farm as a dairy operation and the family went door-to-door delivering fresh bottled milk to locals. It continues to be a family operation today as two sons who graduated from Cornell, and one who graduated from Princeton, have chosen the family dairy as their career.
In 1964, the dairy began making ice cream. Manning's homemade ice cream starts well before the cream and sugar. They grow 95% of what their 75 Holsteins eat, and are the only dairy in all of Lackawanna County that exclusively uses their own milk in all of their dairy products. Paul says their milk is pasteurized the old-fashioned way, using low temperature vat pasteurization. Although this takes longer, the results are worth it -- and their customers agree. In the summer months, they serve 55 flavors, but have the ability to make more than 160. Batches are made in 5-gallon portions, with hand-swirled ingredients. After being stored overnight, the ice cream is delivered to one of their five stores the next morning. The next stop, your cone!
Randy and Judy Good operate Flying High Farms, with over40,000 free-range chickens. Although they both grew up on a dairy farm, they took different career paths which didn't leave much time for their growing family. So in 2012 they made a decision to change all of that when they decided to do more than just live on their 40 acres southwest of Selinsgrove. The idea of free-range chickens was appealing to them, so they learned all they could from other successful free-range egg farmers and built two 20,000 hen barns in 2013. Their 40,000 chickens have 3 square feet of pasture per bird, exceeding the standard for free-range. They ship about 260,000 eggs per week that are marketed as cage free, free-range by Pete and Gerry's and Nellie's Nest. But their interests don't end there – Judy continues to work part-time as an MRI technician and Randy grows beans and corn, is a volunteer fire fighter, and an EMT. He's also a licensed pilot and he and a friend have an aerial photography business.
Congratulations Good family for finding a way to live well, enjoy what you do, make time for family, and help support the growing market for free-range eggs!
The Vineyard at Grandview is a family owned and operated vineyard located in northwestern Lancaster County. Larry began wine-making as a hobby about eight years ago, and after positive feedback from taste-testers, asked his wife, daughters and sons-in-law to join him in the wine industry. The family grows premium vinifera grapes - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and more, and their Bordeaux blend recently won the prestigious double gold award for its Grande Rouge, a Bordeaux blend, three silver awards, and a bronze at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, one of the most prestigious international wine competitions. In addition to the winery, Larry, a large animal veterinarian by trade, along with his wife, Marilyn, operate Cornerstone Genetics, which specializes in embryo transfer in cattle. Congratulations, Larry and Marilyn, on all your success!
Mead along with their daughter. Rick is currently the 3rd generation on the family farm located in the hills of Westfield in Tioga County, PA. The farm consists of 250 acres with Angus/Simmental crosses grazing in the fields, and a USDA Federally inspected butcher shop, which the family opened to the public in 2007. The shop has the capacity to run 30 head of beef and 25 hogs per week, along with chickens, lambs and goats. The operation currently employs 12 and sells PA Preferred products and follows Beef Quality Assurance Guidelines. In 2015, Rick and Veronica opened a retail store that sells steaks, roasts, sausage and bacon. Congratulations, Rick and Veronica, on all your success!