We moved to this farm in 1961, it has been part of our family since. Previously we owned another farm near Elk Mountain. It’s just over 500 acres. We raise dairy cows and currently have 250 – 300 head on the farm. Depending on the demand, we can milk 150 or more if we need to. In addition to the dairy cows, we grow our own corn for silage. Sometimes we also plant oats.
What is your favorite part about your farm?
I grew up on a farm and have always had a passion for it. I like country and the bucolic landscape. I am a dairy farmer at heart.
How has the natural gas industry impacted your farm?
We currently have four wells producing on the farm. The royalties are being used around the farm. We are also in discussion with Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection to keep the separate tank pad from being reclaimed. It is well built and provides us an easily accessible site to store equipment, round bales and silage. Having an area like this tank farm would keep us from damaging the fields during the winter and early spring when we move equipment and bales around.
Have you been able to reinvest funding from the natural gas production into your farm?
We have reinvested much of the royalties back into the farm. Specifically we repaired some of the older buildings and the roofing. We also added some new facilities like a spring house. We have also purchased three new pieces of equipment.
Anything you wish other farmers knew about dealing with the natural gas industry or what to expect in general?
Our dealings have been very positive with the drilling people and the pipeline people. In addition to the wells on the farm we have multiple pipelines running under our field. We have not seen any negative impact to the fields. We were able to take multiple cuts off of it this year.
That’s the $1,000,000 question isn’t it? I believe that Susquehanna County will continue to be a farming community. I’ve seen cases where farmers had to sell off their dairy cows because they couldn’t afford them anymore. And now that the natural gas industry is here, I’ve seen these same farmers bring dairy cows back. The economic impact of the natural gas industry is giving farmers new opportunities and choices.
And what do you hope for the future of your farm?
I really hope my grandchildren can continue on with the farm. I have one granddaughter who is already helping out, especially with the cows. It’s easy to see she really likes it.