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Eric Rifenberrick

Pine Run Farm
PASA Member Since 2011
Conneautville, PA (Crawford County)

Eric Rifenberrick started on the other side of things, working at a retail supermarket. He remembers that it got to a point where he wouldn’t buy the chicken that was being sold there, and then after buying chicken from competitors’ markets, he realized it was all of the same stuff. “That’s when I decided I needed to just start raising my own poultry, and so that’s how I became a farmer,” he recalls.

As he switched paths, Eric struggled to find the resources he needed through government agencies and other agriculture focused organizations. When he finally found PASA as an alternative, he knew it was a perfect fit that was more in line with his philosophy.

“Once I got to know more about the organization and its supportive, inspiring membership, I knew I had found what I was looking for. The thing about doing things differently, you can’t just go talk to you your neighbor about things, you need to find the right people and I have been a happy PASA member since.

Eric recalls a chicken processing Field Day that still inspires him to this day.  “Beyond the great tips that really helped influence my farming practices, I met some like-minded folks that I began networking with. The little things add up, and I am able to find support when I need it most.” 

He knows that there are always opportunities to be more sustainable, and his next plans are to put in a pond that he knows will serve many more purposes than he can imagine. “To me, being sustainable means to find a way to minimize waste, and to re-use and recycle as much as possible. On my farm, I try and make everything fit together, inputs and output, so when I sell my chickens, it’s kind of like people are paying me to fertilize my fields, and then I get better crops and chicken feed for my next flock and it becomes one big circle.”

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