Oregon Dairy - An Organization that “Get’s It”

In my continuing series of Organizations that “Get It,” I would like to profile the good folks at Oregon Dairy. This is a third-generation diversified beef-dairy farm located in Lititz, PA. The farm, owned and managed by the Hurst family, also has a grocery store, retail store, and family restaurant. Their food is known as pure Pennsylvania Dutch and because of the abundant farmland, Oregon Dairy has the freshest produce, meats, cheeses, and awesome ice cream! Oregon Dairy is a family favorite, and more recently an environmental leader, for many of those living near Lancaster, PA.

In 1952, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Hurst purchased a farm located along Route 272 in Manheim Township. They had a dream of serving their neighbors and friends by selling fresh products from their farm. A number of years later, after their family of ten children were raised, the Hurst’s dream became a reality. In 1974, they built and operated a small dairy store from which they sold fresh milk, eggs, and produce. A few years later the Hurst Family decided to build a new store, which was completed in 1979.
 
Since then, Oregon Dairy has undergone many changes. In 1986, a cafeteria was added to the store. Then, with the continuing desire to serve their customers more efficiently, the Hurst Family saw the need to expand again. Consequently, in 1988, they enlarged the retail sales area of the store. In the spring of 1993, the cafeteria was changed into a family restaurant.
 
But don’t be fooled! Oregon Dairy is not only known for being just another great grocery store and restaurant, that’s for sure! Oregon Dairy is becoming more and more well known for its conservation efforts and work in the community. The farm has been recognized numerous times for its efforts to protect water quality and other natural resources. In 2008, Oregon Dairy Farm received the 2008 Outstanding Cooperator Award from the Lancaster County Conservation District, recognizing the family for their innovative practices, stewardship of resources, and contributions to a positive image for agriculture.
 
More recently, in 2010, Oregon Dairy became one of the area’s well-known environmental leaders by contributing to a Unique Composting Facility Partnership. In April, Oregon Dairy along with other local and regional leaders broke ground on an innovative facility that may be the first-of-its-kind to turn both excess manure from local farms and waste from yards and kitchens into compost and prevent polluted runoff from reaching Lancaster County's streams and rivers. By composting manure from local farms, food waste from local schools and restaurants, and leaves and yard waste from Manheim Township, the new facility -- Oregon Dairy Organics -- will turn trash into treasure for organic farmers, home gardeners, landscapers, and park and athletic field managers. Oregon Dairy Organics will be selling finished compost by this fall.

Oregon Dairy and the Hurst Family provided a farm site for this project, which will benefit the community, farms, and waterways. "This project is another example of the positive steps farmers can and are taking to clean up both Lancaster County streams and the Chesapeake Bay in an economically sustainable way," said George Hurst, owner of Oregon Dairy. "As a result of this project, manure, yard waste, and food waste will become an asset to agriculture and the Chesapeake Bay region.”

The Hurst’s dream has certainly become a reality; and three generations later, they are still providing the fresh products that Mom and Pop Hurst desired. They have also expanded to be a positive example and a leader in the agricultural community and the community at large. Oregon Dairy is an Organization that “Gets It”.

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by Scott Heintzelman - Scott is a CPA, CMA and CFE living in Pennsylvania. Scott is a partner serving on the executive team at McKonly & Asbury LLP, a regional accounting firm with multiple offices in the Mid-Atlantic. The firm has been an IPA ALL-STAR as well as winning Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania for numerous years.

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