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The Zimmerman's Organic Farming Journey

The Zimmerman's Organic Farming Journey

At Handsome Brook Farms, we're passionate about sharing stories of our dedicated farmers who make our organic egg production possible. This National Ag Day, we're thrilled to spotlight Dave and Rhoda Zimmerman, whose journey into farming exemplifies perseverance, innovation, and a deep love for the land and its creatures.

The Zimmerman’s path to raising hens wasn't a straightforward one. Hailing from a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, Dave always harbored a desire to farm but found the barriers to entry daunting. 

“I always wanted to farm,” says Dave, “but in the farming world, unless your daddy has a lot of money, or you inherit the farm, it's almost impossible to get in. It truly is. I absolutely love animals and I love farming. But I had to get away from it for a time because there were no options for me. I had no way to do it.” 


Despite facing challenges, Dave and his wife, Rhoda, held onto their dream as they pursued other careers in Kentucky. 

In 2007, Dave took a leap of faith and purchased what others deemed unusable land—an old rock quarry. Little did they know, this seemingly barren terrain would become the foundation for their farming venture. Fast forward to 2018, when Handsome Brook Farms entered the picture, seeking to expand operations in the area and help farmers access costly organic and humane certifications. Dave seized the opportunity, turning dormant land into a thriving home for his hens.

For Dave and Rhoda, farming isn't just a livelihood—it's a way of life. Despite balancing off-farm work, their days start and end with farm chores, a routine they've come to cherish. Walking among their flock, they find solace and joy, forming a bond that goes beyond mere caretaking.



“We find that when we come home from a day at work,” says Dave, “we love walking with the birds. I don't know what it is, but there’s something about them; the way they are, it puts your [mind] at ease.”

Their thoughtful approach to farming is evident in every aspect of their operation. From meticulously logging certification information and health data for their hens to devising innovative solutions like redesigning their egg belt to more carefully transport the eggs, Dave and Rhoda's commitment extends beyond productivity. The Zimmermans provide wholesome, organic food to others—a mission rooted in their own path towards health and wellness.

The Zimmerman's journey towards organic farming was especially influenced by more than just a passion for quality food—it was a matter of health. A tick-borne illness caused a debilitating allergic reaction that prompted Dave to explore non-pharmaceutical remedies. This life-altering experience led him to reevaluate his diet and prioritize organic, nutrient-rich foods.



"We've learned that what we put into our bodies is what we are," Dave reflects. "So we thought, 'If we've got to eat healthy, why not produce healthy food?' So that's what we did."

By choosing organic practices, the Zimmermans are not only nurturing the land but also contributing to the well-being of consumers far and wide. As Dave gazes at his flock, freely roaming the pasture, it's clear that his connection to the land runs deep. For him, farming isn't just about the crops or the animals—it's about stewardship, resilience, and feeding people.

“When I pack eggs,” Dave remarks, “I look at each and every one that goes by and imagine a dozen of them sitting in a carton at a grocery store in some other town. Just waiting for someone, who has no idea about what went into making the most beautiful and nutritious eggs, but here they are waiting to be eaten. That's what it's about, feeding people healthy food. That's good stuff. That's the drive behind the whole [farm]. You gotta have a vision for what you do.” 

So, as we celebrate National Ag Day, we salute farmers like Dave and Rhoda Zimmerman, whose unwavering passion and dedication enrich our lives and our communities. 

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