Farmer on the Rise, Julie Henninger
Farm Credit awarded a total of $100,000 to beginning farmers through the Farmers on the Rise Award Program on December 7, 2023. Julie Henninger of Cumberland County, PA is one of ten recipients.
Julie established Good Keeper Farm in 2014 and hasn't looked back. She started growing vegetables on one acre and is now growing in four high tunnels and one heated greenhouse, on a total of six acres. All of her produce is Certified Organic and Real Organic Project certified. Good Keeper Farm operates a CSA and is a year-round vendor at a downtown market in Carlisle. Additionally, the farm provides vegetables and eggs to ten wholesale customers on a weekly basis.
To increase efficiency, Julie plans to purchase a tractor for the farm. She currently has shared access to an older tractor, but that arrangement does not provide the reliability or consistency needed for her operation. The implements Julie would like to use, such as a waterwheel transplanter or potato harvester, are not compatible with the shared tractor. A new tractor will mean fewer hours troubleshooting mechanical problems, more timely planting, cultivating and harvesting, and will speed up field preparation, leading to increased yields.