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Nolt Family Farm

Perry County, PA

Dennis Nolt grew up in New Holland PA, the youngest of seven children. His father raised steers, and Dennis helped his father growing up. He and Lawanda met at a church youth group meeting and married in 2001. Dennis was working for a hardware retailer, but he wanted to do something where he could be with his family. Both of his grandparents were farmers, and his sisters married dairy farmers. He wanted to try farming, so he talked with Chris Pierce at Heritage Poultry Management about producing eggs before he bought a farm.

When he purchased this 43-acre farm in 2015, he immediately built two 20,000-hen layer barns. As soon as the barns were finished, he received his first flock of 40,000 hens. “I started this to be able to work with my kids,” he explains, “ to help them learn about farming and where their food comes from. I want them to develop a good work ethic.” “I had no experience with laying hens,” he admits,” but my service man, Frank Morton, has helped me learn how to do it.”

Dennis’ favorite part is packing the eggs. “I like seeing what I have accomplished, and I like the flexibility of time.” “I also like the personal connection with Heritage and that Pete and Gerry’s is fighting for family farmers.” Dennis would like to have other animals on his farm. “I don’t really have the time right now, but once I get this under control, I’d like to raise some beef cattle,” he says. “I don’t have much time to relax since we got the hens. We like spending time at a family cabin, and I enjoy hunting out behind my farm.” Dennis is hopeful about the future of small family farms. “As long as consumers are willing to pay more for quality eggs, the future looks good.

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