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Sundance Life Farm-2013

BRADFORD COUNTY: Dairy, meat farm, equipment & tools

The Sundance Life Farm is a 50-acre animal based operation in Bradford County just north of Wysox, PA. The farm is operated by Julie Perry with help from her husband Greg and two sons, Nick and Quinn.

They are currently milking 33 cows and have replacement heifers. They have dairy goats, which they milk and make cheese for personal use. They raise meat goats, sheep and laying hens. They will have hogs in the future. They also have a guard donkey and emus. The family recently won the Clean Water Award from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and local Conservation District for the improvements made in diversion ditches, fencing and animal pathways.

Julie’s family had a 100-acre beef & hay farm in Luzerne County that they would visit in the summers. Being the first girl after twelve brothers though, she did not get an opportunity to do much hands-on farming. She was relegated to the “women’s work” in the kitchen.  When she married Steve Casey, a master carpenter, she hoped to learn skills as a wood worker. Limited funds and time eventually prohibited the learning of these skills. Julie and Steve could afford to purchase the existing farm because it was in need of extensive work. In fact, when they started to clean out the manure from the barn (which was deep!), they were surprised to find a concrete floor. The farm had been rented out to numerous different operations prior to their purchasing it. They had dreams of turning the farm into a working dairy farm. They contacted the local Conservation District for help and thus began the transformation. A year after purchasing the farm, Steve died unexpectedly. Julie was left with a farm in need of much work and two young sons, 16 and 8 years old. They approached this new challenge as a team. Since Julie had never really learned the skills required to run a farm, they reached out to friends, neighbors and agricultural professionals for assistance. They read the manuals on the equipment and just picked up the tools and figured out how to use them. Now she and her sons have an operating, diversified animal farm which produces income.

Julie has approached the challenges in her life with humor, caring and enthusiasm. Julie has been a foster parent to court defined violent teens and works with the local animal shelter. She has worked as a butcher and is currently a certified nutrient management consultant. You can read her blog at http://thesundancelife.com/ to experience the farm life. Julie has since remarried Greg Perry, who is a corrosion engineer. Greg helps on the farm as much as he can but he travels a lot for his business. Both Nick and Quinn still help Julie with the farm. Julie is now working with a neighbor to start the NE Grazing Initiative and has hosted Holistic Management Courses on the farm.

Contact Information

Patricia Neiner
Phone: 814-865-7031