August 13, 2018
BUSINESS BUILDER: With a land base limited to 368 cropland acres and 43 owned acres, Bob Shearer opened the door for son Mike to build his own equity base with a 2,400-head contract hog finishing barn — the farm’s third finishing facility.
Bob Shearer, the 2018 Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer from Mount Joy, Pa., started farming at age 17, when interest rates were at 21%. At age 19, and knowing hogs’ “mortgage lifter” reputation, Shearer built his first hog barn — a 150-sow unit later converted to a finishing barn. And he started doing custom work for other farmers.
Catch glimpses of the Shearer family’s operation by clicking through the gallery. Read more about how this smaller-scale farmer competes with larger operations. You can also watch the Robert Shearer Master Farmer video below to learn more about Shearer, courtesy of Cooperative Extension and the Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers Association. Check out videos of all four 2018 Master Farmers on YouTube.
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