Dave operates a dairy farm in Juniata County, milking 60 head of registered Holsteins and raising 70-plus head of replacement heifers. The cattle are rotationally grazed on 60 acres of paddocks. The farm is rented from landowners who reside in the Washington, D.C. area. It is about 400 acres. Corn, soybeans, hay, and small grains are grown and 10,000 bushels of on-farm grain storage adds value. Sunflowers have been added as a double crop after barley for bird seed and eye appeal. There is also a small beekeeping operation that currently includes about a dozen hives. The nutrient management program is improved through a 700,000-gallon manure storage system.
Dave grew up on a farm in Juniata County. It had 2,000 laying hens producing eggs that were sold door-to-door on a weekly route. His family milked three cows by hand, cropped 60 acres, grew vegetables, raised a few sows and fat hogs, and timbered 40 acres of wooded ground. Before college Dave worked on a dairy farm, farmed crops on his own and ran a home-repair business. After college he worked as a broiler flock supervisor for seven years and performed other duties such as designing and constructing a new broiler house, supervising the chicken catching and broiler house disinfection crews and holding the commercial pesticide license for the division.
In 1996, Dave started teaching agricultural education in Snyder County, including classes on FFA leadership, veterinary science, small engines, building construction, plumbing, electrical wiring, welding and the adult young farmers program. Dave was among the first dozen individuals to be certified as a nutrient plan writer in Pennsylvania during his teaching years.
Dave started his dairy-farming career Sept. 1, 2000. Being successful in dairying through periods of low milk prices over the past decade has been demanding. He attributes his financial stability to high quality milk, above average components, high rate of herd fertility, feed efficiency, above average production and great employees.
Dave received his associates degree in 1987 from Hesston College in Kansas. He received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education in from Penn State University 1989, with a minor in poultry, and certification to teach in agricultrual ecuation and general science.
In addition to serving on the state Board of Directors, Dave chairs the state Natural and Environmental Resources Committee and is a member of the state Dairy Committee. He has been active since 2000 on the county Farm Bureau board, serving as member services chair, membership processor, newsletter editor, membership chair, vice president and president.
Dave and his wife, Marie, have been married since 1992 and have a married daughter living in Florida and an adult son. Both Dave and Marie serve as deacons in their church and Dave serves on church board. He serves on the Farmer Advisory Committee for the agriculture departments in Juniata County, as secretary for West Branch Crop Association and on the Farmer Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Foundation. He also served on the Beaver Fair Board for five years, on the Snyder County Extension Board and on the Youth Livestock Committee in Snyder County. He also serves on Ag Working Group for Pennsylvania's Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Steering Committee.