Right before we pulled the trigger on the loan and this construction project [to focus on dairy farming], I had a ‘why am I doing this?’ moment. My wife and I definitely sat down and said, “Should we be doing this?”
No turning back now, I guess.
We’re adding a winter feeding area for the cows; we added some holding facilities for the barns. We finished off the milking parlor with equipment, and automated some of the processes to make our days a little quicker.
We will still be pasture-based. We don’t get a price premium as [certified] organic, but we value that as a method of management regardless of whether or not that’s the most profitable way to pursue things.
I graduated from college in 2009, so job prospects weren’t numerous by any means. I went to graduate school in the UK. While I was there, my mom called. She said my uncle, who had stopped farming a few years earlier, was looking to sell it.
The farm was just sitting there, falling into disrepair. At first I was supportive of the idea, but then I started thinking about it, and I thought it would be a real tragedy if that happened. I’d grown up on that farm.
Farming is worth it to me because I like working with the livestock, and I like watching the farm turn into something it wasn’t when I got here.
Summertime, making-hay season — that’s what I like about farming: the community aspect. I like making hay, and I have friends and family who help out. It does feel nice to have that cooperation where you’re all working together for a common goal.
Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, I don’t know. I certainly would be better off financially if I weren’t doing it. I guess I really like it. That’s my best answer.
– Mark Hostetler, Rosewater Farm and Dairy
This summer, we're taking a look at some of the small farms and urban gardens you'll only find in Goshen! More stories to come through September.
Written and edited by Wendy Wilson
Original publish date April 2022
Do you have a story you want to tell?
Do you have a story to tell about someone who contributes to Goshen’s greater GOOD?
We invite you to share!