Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Joe Esh, Amish Dairy Farm, Lancaster, PA - Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Joe Esh's cows relaxing in the barn. 

Joe's son teddering hay to dry it down. Plain Sect people prefer to not have close up pictures taken of them so
we do not have pictures of Joe.  

Joe Esh is an Amish farmer who owns and runs a small dairy farm operation (40 milking head) in Lancaster County, PA. After finding Joe at the neighboring farm fixing a piece of equipment, he showed us his true Amish nature by riding his scooter back home where we followed him and spoke to him about the past, present and potential future of his farm. 

Joe started his farm in 1976 growing a few acres of corn and tobacco while raising cattle for beef. A few years afterwards, he decided to drop tobacco and beef in favor of alfalfa and dairy cows to become a dairy farmer, he has stayed true ever since. Joe is a successful businessman having bought a total of 4 farms over his lifetime. He currently manages 65 acres of corn and alfalfa fields and a total of about 70 total cows, 40 of which are used for milk production. 

Although Joe still uses mules to pull the planters on his field he is not behind on other advancements in farming; Joe follows a nutrient management plan to help reduce the amount of nitrogen lost from his fields and to minimize the accumulation of phosphorus in his soils. Joe's work to implement his nutrient management plan reduces nutrient pollution of nearby bodies of water and the Chesapeake Bay. At this stop we got to experience firsthand how a small farmer operates and works.
- Joey

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