Bardell named Farmer of the Year
Local farmer surprised, honored with annual award
PORT ROYAL — Thompsontown farmer Scott Bardell could not have been more surprised.
Bardell was named the 2018 Farmer of the Year Sunday evening at the Juniata County Fair.
Bardell’s youngest daughter, Brandy Zendt, wrote the nomination letter, and told the audience in the barn, “Maybe most of you know him as that farmer from Pfoutz Valley, or you know him from coming into the (Corner) Deli for breakfast every morning. To me, he is my Dad.”
The owner of Greenbar Farms LLC was seated in the livestock barn surrounded by family, unaware that the presentation he was waiting to see, would be for him.
Lori Comp, field representative for state Sen. Jake Corman’s office, made the declaration.
Bardell approached the front of the show area followed by his wife, two adult daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.
Don Clark, President of the Juniata County Agricultural Society, presented Bardell, who was still shocked, with the recognition.
Zendt was given the microphone to share why she wrote the letter that recommended her father.
In her letter to the Juniata County Farmer of the Year committee, Zendt told the story of her family farm and her dad’s beginnings.
Bardell’s parents, Nevin and Fay, bought the property in the area of Pfoutz Valley in 1959 as a dairy farm. Bardell was just a boy of 6 years old, but he recalled being part of the process from the very beginning.
Bardell not only milked cows, but he took classes to inseminate them. Bardell also suffered from asthma and allergies, which made working in the barn difficult.
In 1979 the dairy cows were sold as the family took over feeder cattle. Income at the farm was not as good, however, and Bardell had to seek additional work. He also got married, and by 1986, Nevin and Scott decided to go into business together with 21 Hereford cows and a bull to start a herd.
Bardell added a hog finishing barn which is still in use today, as the family continues to raise hogs for Hershey Ag.
Over the years Bardell worked closely with Natural Resources Conservation Service, NRCS. The Greenbar farm was recognized on the RFDtv program “Out on the Land” in 2014 for Bardell’s commitment to reducing sediment and nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Both of his daughters and their husbands, including Zendt’s husband Ryan, along with Rachel Bardell Naylor and husband Alan, all committed to continuing the farm with Bardell, which now includes 2,200 hogs for Hershey Ag, 40 Black Angus cow/calf pairs, two 500-foot chicken houses for broilers for Bell and Evans, pumpkins as well as crops.
“My Dad, to me, was the one who got up every morning at dawn and was working until dark so he could do better than the day before,” Zendt said at the recognition. She then added, “Dad, to me, you are a hero.”
Zendt concluded by saying the entire family felt Bardell was farmer of the year every year.