Gary Musser grew up on his farm. His father bought the farm and a dairy herd at nineteen and still has about 80 milkers. Gary worked on the farm, but he didn’t really like working with dairy cows. So when he was eighteen, Gary took a job off the farm installing garage doors. He also worked as an auto mechanic and for an agricultural supply company. He always wanted to get back into farming, just not dairy. Jessica grew up on the next farm, where her father raised hogs. She and Gary knew each other from school and church. They married and now have three lovely daughters.
Their house was originally part of Gary’s father’s farm, and they currently lease the property on which their two 20,000-hen barns are located. Gary hopes to purchase the land and put the property back together again. “My dad was always around when I was a kid,” Gary explains. “I wanted to work at home with my family.” “I looked into broilers, but I didn’t have the room for broiler barns. I knew some farmers who were producing for Pete and Gerry’s, so I talked with Chris Pierce at Heritage. He didn’t have any contracts available at the time, but he called me a few months later to say he had an available contract if I was still interested.” “Other than working on an embryo farm for the agricultural supply company, I had no experience with poultry; but Heritage’s service people have been very helpful. I recently housed my second flock and they’re already beginning to produce.”
In addition to the laying hens, Gary also does custom bailing for other farmers in the area. He likes being able to work at home and make his own schedule. Jessica likes that they get to spend a lot of time with their children. For relaxation, they like camping at local campgrounds. That way Gary can easily get back to the farm for chores if he needs to. “Other than bringing the land back together, I’d like to keep things just about the way they are,” Gary adds. “I’m very happy producing eggs for Pete and Gerry’s.
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