Matt Dersham great-grandparents started farming in Union Country, Pennsylvania in 1886. His grandparents continued working that farm, which Matt loved to visit as a boy. Matt’s parents didn’t work the farm, but rented out the land to area farmers. Matt worked on a dairy farm when he was in high school. After high school, he went to diesel mechanics school to learn a trade. He subsequently worked at a truck stop, and a lumberyard. He met his wife, Toni, online. “I was working so hard, I never had the chance to go to places where I could meet girls. We started dating and soon realized we wanted to be together. She wasn’t a country girl when we met, but she sure has become one now,” he says with a boyish grin.
They now have three children. Throughout it all, Matt wanted to move back to his great-grandparents' farm. “If I wanted to keep the farm in the family, I had to find a way to keep it going." He eventually found his way to Pete and Gerry’s and put together enough money to build a couple of barns. Matt cares for the hens and maintains the buildings and equipment. Toni packs the eggs and helps with other chores. The girls help pack eggs and walk the barns. “I like the flexibility, and I love spending time with my family. I enjoy knowing that I’m helping to keep the world going around.” Matt states with pride.
Matt also likes tractor pulls. He built a 1200-horsepower International pulling tractor. “It’s my addiction,” he confesses. “I’m still working the bugs out, but it has pulled 26,000 pounds.” “We like swimming and boating too,” Toni adds. ”The Susquehanna River is only about a half hour away, so we can go down there for 2 or 3 hours after work. In addition to running the farm, Matt does diesel and equipment repair. “Our primary income is from eggs, but I help my neighbor with his combine. The farmers in this area all help each other. Their feelings are actually hurt if they find out you needed help and didn’t ask them.”
Built a 1200-horsepower International pulling tractor
Swimming and boating
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