Like most of our farmers, Justin Oberholtzer worked on his father’s farm as a boy. His father milks about 40 cows, and Justin still helps out with milking and field work. He now owns the neighboring 107-acre farm, which his grandfather purchased in the 1950s. He and Angie met at church youth group. “She caught my eye the first time I saw her, but she doesn’t remember me,” he jests. Justin worked off the farm cleaning poultry barns for a while and then started doing masonry -- mostly exterior stucco and plastering. But after working off the farm, he longed to farm again.
“I looked at the options and then contacted Chris Pierce at Heritage. Chris helped me get set up with two layer barns.” Justin is now on his third flock. The two barns take up most of his time, and the majority of his income comes from the eggs.“Heritage helps us keep our productivity high. This flock peaked at 93.5 and they’re still about 83%,” Justin says with pride. “Farming is a lot of work, but it’s rewarding. I like the flexibility of time, because I had to be home a lot when the twins were born. And teaching the children to work is great.”
“I like working the fields, but I particularly enjoy being in the barn with the hens when the lights come on in the morning. Everyone’s just waking up.” “Two barns are enough for me. They provide me with a good income. If things continue like the last few years, the future of small family farms should be good.”