Farming Success Stories

D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N is the alternate spelling of Lynn Chamberlain’s name. This dairy producer from Clearville, Bedford County, has determinedly pressed on despite coping with significant back and knee pain for nearly a decade.

All Glen Weaver has ever wanted to do was farm. For the past 25 years, he has played a key role in the 2700 acre grain and corn operation owned by Elvin Stoltzfus just outside Lewisburg, in Union County.

David Walrath has farmed the rolling hills of Northern Bradford County for nearly 60 years. Snow Crest Dairy has been in his family since 1951, and he and his wife Gail and son Scott currently milk an average of 100 cows and farm about 450 acres. David has also lived with debilitating hip, shoulder, and arthritis problems for the past 20 years. He was facing his 3rd hip replacement surgery in early 2002 when Gail contacted AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians to learn how they might help.

Jerry and Jayne Deal have deep roots in southern Somerset County. Well more than 200 years ago, one of Jerry’s relatives was an original recipient of the William Penn land grant and settled to farming in this rolling high country of south-central PA.

Tim and Blane Sturgeon, successful father-son dairy producers from Lawrence County, PA, understand the challenges of farming with serious health conditions. Tim’s son Blane was only 18 on December 18, 2000, when a skid steer incident nearly killed him. Technically, he did die – twice that day – but today his mischievous eyes and warm smile attest to a full and rewarding life.

Imagine spending your entire life growing no taller than the average 8-year-old. Combine this challenge with a lifelong dream to farm, and you may have some idea what it’s like for brothers Tim and Colby Lehman.

Tim Fuller’s pedicure clients are pretty hefty. Averaging about 1500 pounds, his ‘girls’ can be a little touchy about getting their nails done. They frequently fidget, often kick, and don’t care to stand in the hot sun or cold wind while Tim, of Carlisle, PA, carefully sees to the health of their hooves. Due to his disability, Tim doesn’t tolerate the hot sun or cold wind, either; nor is he able to bend for hours upon end to shave, buff, and shine.

Ryan Frye was like most graduating high school students in 2005 – excited and ready to start the next chapter in his life. The Blairsville, Pa. native was looking forward to full-time work on his family’s dairy farm, started by his grandfather in 1978.