Painterland Farms Engages Consumers Organically

October is Farm to School Month in Pennsylvania, and Oct. 12 was National Farmers Day. Many in the agricultural industry take this month to help people of all ages understand where their food comes from. Painterland Farms, LLC near Westfield in Tioga County is among those who are engaged in educating on the nutritional benefits of organic products. 

“We’re very transparent in what we do,” said Stephanie Painter. “We do everything with love.” She and her sister Hayley have degrees in business and animal science, respectively. Together, they want to give consumers a better understanding of farms by utilizing social media and other sources. “People are out of touch with it, and we want to bridge that gap,” said Stephanie. 

Painterland Farms Sisters

Four generations of the Painter family work together on more than 5,500 acres. While they continuously enhance their operations, they have seen a renewed interest this past year in farming and other family-owned businesses.

On the farm, the Painters sell feed and hay to large operators throughout Pennsylvania and beyond. However, the real bread and butter of their operations is the cows. The farm’s milking parlor was professionally retrofitted in 2014 to accommodate more than 100 cows per hour. Between 350 and 400 cows are milked daily. In 2018, the Painters invested in new silos and grain bins for long-term storage and the production of organic feeds. In fact, their own cows ingest up to 100 pounds each of the special blend!

“This is our most important harvest right here,” John Painter stated as he oversaw operations in the milking parlor this summer. John previously served as the TiogaPotter County Farm Bureau president and currently serves as a membership chair for the bi-county organization. 

Painterland Farms was certified organic in 2006 after decades of moving in that direction. The family has more than 200 years of dairy farming history behind them, and John is confident that the next generation of Painters will continue with the operation. “I guess it’s stuck in their blood,” he remarked.

Continuing a 200-year tradition of farming may seem natural to the Painters, but John acknowledges that farming is hard work and that everybody struggles sometimes with paying the bills and planning for the future. The arrival of gas companies like Eclipse and Travis Peak Resources, with whom the Painters have contracted, gave the local economy a much-needed boost. 

Continuing a 200-year tradition of farming may seem natural to the Painters, but John acknowledges that farming is hard work and that everybody struggles sometimes with paying the bills and planning for the future. The arrival of gas companies like Eclipse and Travis Peak Resources, with whom the Painters have contracted, gave the local economy a much-needed boost. 

Painterland Farms Family

“The gas industry has had a very positive effect on the farming community throughout the northern tier,” John stated. “It has helped us to do things that we might not have been able to do without that gas income.” Farmers have also worked with the gas companies to develop best practices for both industries. 

The Painterland Sisters – John’s nieces – have worked with consultants to develop a business model for their niche of the family business, which will include production of cheese, yogurt and kefir. They hope to have a new production facility running by this time in 2021 and start hosting students and others for farm field trips. To learn more about their efforts, check out their Facebook page

Bill desRosiers

Raised in Highland Falls, New York, William desRosiers learned about responsible resource development, firsthand, as a part of his family's mining business. William received his B.S. in Management, B.A.in History and MBA from Misericordia University. He currently serves in External Affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. His primary responsibilities include strengthening media relationships, managing company-run fundraising programs, building better community relations and representing Cabot every chance he has.

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