When loan interest rates started to climb, Millerstown farmer Jeremy Sensenig was glad he had locked in his loan’s rate through SEDA-COG at 2.5 percent for 7 years.
This provides cash flow and stability for his 127-acre farm where he built two pullet houses with the $400,000 SEDA-COG Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority/Small Business First loan. BB&T Bank completed the $1 million project with a $615,400 loan.
“A neighbor sold us the land for a pretty decent price, but I needed cash flow or I couldn’t keep the whole property,” Sensenig said. “It’s mostly timber, but there is some tillable ground. This was the first step for property cash flow.”
The pullet houses help him fulfill a contract with Hy-Line. He helps 1-day-old chicks grow for about four months, and when the hens reach 2.5 pounds and the roosters get to 3 pounds, they’re transferred to laying houses (on another farm) for egg production.
Sensenig’s past electrical work experience was useful for his chicken barns. He installed the electrical system in the pullet houses and a computer system with Internet access so he can control the barn settings with his smartphone and computer. He can remotely adjust the temperature, ventilation, fan timer, and more.
He does three daily walk-throughs starting at 6 a.m., and a few of his seven children help him with the noon walk-through. His final walk-through is around 6 p.m.
The loan and cash flow allows Sensenig more time to focus on his father-son ministry, Moriah Ministries, where he helps fathers and their children build good relationships to avoid future destructive behavior.
“I worked at a rehab facility and I saw a lot of guys who didn’t have good relationships with their fathers,” Sensenig said. “We moved back to Pennsylvania from Indiana so we could help our churches better connect fathers and sons.”
In the future, he hopes to perhaps build green houses or begin strawberry farming.
“The trend is locally grown and organic food, so to have locally grown, year-round produce could be advantageous,” Sensenig said.
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