Joyce Bupp -- Steward of the Land
Joyce Bupp, and her husband, Leroy, operate Bupplynn Farms, Seven Valleys, PA, where they milk 180 cows. Leroy started milking just 20 rented cows, in 1963, on portions of a farm that’s been in his family 200 years. Joyce and Leroy married in 1964 and today, milk 180 cows and cro
p about 750 acres of corn, alfalfa, soybeans, wheat and mixed hay. They have two grown children, who live off the farm, but are grateful for a grandson that spends his summers and weekends, during cropping season, with grandma and grandpa.
Joyce explains that their entire days are devoted to the care and welfare of their animals that includes twice daily milking, feeding and clean-up, calf and young stock care, daily bedding as needed for dryness and comfort, regular vaccination programs and monthly herd health checkups with their veterinarian. They also spend special attention to raising quality feeds for their animals, including regular soil testing, field and pasture fertilization, weed and insect control, and regular testing of stored feeds for nutrition levels and potential toxins.
Conservation also is important at Bupplynn Farms. Land is no-tilled, with cover crops sown, as harvest and weather permit, on every acre possible during the winter, with a goal of zero runoff and constantly increasing the organic levels in their soil. They have several conservation terraces on their rolling hills, rock and wetland areas where stormwater runs from roadways, and installed tile drainage several decades ago. Manure is held in a storage area and spread in a timely fashion to best utilize its value. A former pasture has been redeveloped into a pond and wildlife area, with a portion of the stream piped underground; half-dozen ponds, with fish, attract diverse bird and wildlife, including an occasional mink.
The greatest challenge to the future of Bupplynn Farms is its location, surrounded by housing and industrial development and sliced through by a busy interstate highway. The farms are enrolled in the Farmland Preservation program, with a goal of maintaining them as agriculture and open land.
Joyce explains that she’d like every consumer to know that her farm is both a business, and a lifestyle. “Everything we do is aimed at success of our business of tending cattle and land; we strive to take the very best care of both those investments,” she said. “And, since our family lives here, we care very much about the soil, the air, and the water with which both our business and our lifestyle is so intricately connected.”
Listen to Joyce talk about the importance of educating her friends, neighbors, and community about the beef and dairy industry.
Watch Joyce as she discusses how the Beef Checkoff builds demand for beef.