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About Us

Who We Are & What We Stand For

Growing Family, Food, Fiber and Farm Legacy for over 7 Generations in Northeast Pennsylvania.

 

Twin Brook Farms is a 7th generation family farm jointly managed since 2011 by husband and wife pair, Erik Roneker and Cassie Schweighofer.

Twin Brook Farms is best classified as a hay and pastured livestock farm, though we do have a half acre in vegetable production, an apple orchard, and our own bee hives. We maintain our farmland and forests with little to no external inputs. This means that our pastures and hayfields are fertilized with our own manure and compost and we never use pesticides or herbicides. We generally raise 80 head of beef cattle, 800 sheep and lambs, 20 goats, up to 80 hogs, and 200 or so free range chickens and a plethora of other assorted fowl. Don't forget our bee hives!

Our livestock are naturally raised on grass or with the hay and haylage we produce on our farm. During the growing season they have access to pasture constantly! Our meat is hormone and antibiotic free and sustainably raised! Over 95% of our livestock are direct marketed to consumers and we pride ourselves on supplying a high quality, great tasting product.

 

The goal for the livestock is entirely grass fed, grass finished. But full disclosure here....There are times when we utilize grain as a tool. For instance, back in December of 2022 we had a terrible warm rain storm followed by sub-0 temps. We'd just birthed over a dozen new calves and we don't have physical shelter beyond tree cover for our cattle. We pushed feed during this timeline. They needed it. The cows needed energy to keep themselves warm and still make milk to keep those babies alive. There are times we creep feed calves or lambs if they need a helping hand. There are times we feed some grain to cows or ewes to help with milk production. There are times when we have to move a stubborn bunch of cattle to a new pasture and a half bucket of grain lures them like a lollipop does a toddler. It's not a perfect system. Our monogastrics do receive custom feed mixes from our local feed mill and during cold months we do sometimes raise some hogs in a barn on deep straw bedding. 

We hope our farm will serve as a model and inspiration for other local farms, proving that young farmers can get a foot in the door and farmers can sustainably farm while both preserving the future and conserving the environment. A well-managed farm produces food and fiber, limits its nutrient and sediment runoff, helps sustain rural community economies, and contributes to the food security of our nation.

 

Twin Brook Farms preserves a legacy and supports a family. We hope you'll consider supporting our farm by voting with your food dollar! When you shop local you are acquiring superior quality products, guaranteeing fair returns to farmers, preserving farmland, and supporting your local economy! 

with love, 

from all of us at TBF

Farm History

The history of Twin Brook Farms has its roots in the immigration of our European ancestors many generations ago. Leaving a small town on the border of Austria and Germany and arriving by boat, the early Schweighofer's searched for a place to settle.  As luck would have it, they made their way to what is now Northeastern Pennsylvania.

According to our family lore, our ancestors chose this land because it reminded them of the farmland they had left behind.  Today, the land still looks much like it did from the beginning. The farm presents sharp hillsides littered with boulders and rock, meandering brooks, deep valleys, and small mountains covered in forest. 

To adequately utilize our unforgiving farmland we have chozen to rotationally graze our livestock. Not only do pastured animals live exactly how nature intended them to, but they are also happier and healthier for it.

Very few farms can say that they have been stewards of the same land for over 100 years, even fewer can say that they survived and even thrived without the support of a spouse who generates off farm income. Twin Brook Farms is both!

Our adaptability and diversity have resulted in a farm and landscape that has evolved to fit the times. Our farm has changed with agricultural demand over each generation, so strong is the will of the farmer to persist. Infrastructure has been erected and torn down. We have been dairy farmers, crop farmers, nursery stock farmers, poultry and egg farmers, beef, hog, sheep, goat, stone, timber, and hay farmers. At certain times, we have been all of these at once! We've even dabbled in livestock show business! 100 of our sheep have performed in a NYC world class opera production!

We believe that farming and agriculture require constant vigilance, record keeping, and renewed education to stay ahead. It is this belief that sets Twin Brook Farms apart from other crop and livestock farms of her caliber. Having both graduated from Cornell University, we have had the opportunity to study issues on the cutting edge of sustainable land management and agricultural innovation. We strive to utilize sound agricultural practices that have been scientifically tested and supported, but also strategies that work in the real world of applied agriculture.

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