Michael P. Kunsman, Veal Farmer
Michael P. Kunsman, and his family, operate Kunsman Beef Farm in La Jose, Pennsylvania, Clearfield County. Today, the third generation beef, veal and crop farm raises 160 veal calves and 50 beef cattle. Kunsman also currently leads the PA Beef Council Board of Directors.
Kunsman grew up farming with his father, raising primarily beef cattle since 1958. In 1981, he transitioned into running the farm full-time, which he continues today with the help of his son, Zeke. “I always knew farming would be my career,” said Kunsman. “Growing up, I developed a deep love and respect for both the land and animals.”
Later, in 2001, Kunsman began raising and marketing veal calves. He understands the challenges that come along with veal farming, particularly with the public’s perception. Kunsman notes that animal care and quality assurance are at the top of his list of priorities, “We do everything in the best interest of the animal. The happier the calf, the better it will produce for us.” Kunsman goes on to say, “We’re committed to producing a safe, healthy product. I would not sell anything I wouldn’t feed to my family or eat myself.”
Kunsman Beef Farm also puts great emphasis on land stewardship and conservation best management practices. “We’ve installed a manure pit for our veal calves and added stream bank fencing,” says Kunsman.
While Kunsman recognizes his chosen career presents a number of challenges, he believes the opportunities are greater. “We face challenges every day, but we’re in a position to produce and provide healthy food to the consumer, and even make a profit from it” said Kunsman. “I consider that a great opportunity.”
Aside from the farm, Kunsman is also committed to community service. He’s the past president of the Clearfield County Farm Bureau and Harmony Grange 1201. Kunsman has also been a Clearfield County 4-H Livestock Club Leader for more than 18 years. He serves as the beef superintendent for the Harmony Grange Fair Board and is a member of the McPherron Christian and Missionary Alliance.
Kunsman with Season Solorio, NCBA,
Issues Management, at the 2011
PBC Annual Dinner