BEDFORD, PA— From the first date with Justin, Shelby knew her life would include dairy farming. “On our first date
Justin told me he was going to own a dairy farm,” Shelby laughed. Justin had worked at the Paul-Den
farm during high school and in 2012 the couple bought a portion of the farm. The farm was named
‘Paul-Den Farm’ after the original owner Paul Dennis, “who taught me everything I know and who still
comes to work with us today,” said Justin. The Gochnours renamed the farm to Jus-Den Farm,
representing the partnership between the two gentlemen.
Justin shared that the purchase of the farm would not have been possible without the help of Southern
Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission. SAP&DC approved a fixed rate, low-interest loan
for Justin and the Gochnours later bought the farm in its entirety in 2016. “We started with about 65
cows back then and now are up to 110 dairy cows that include Holstein, Red & White, Brown Swiss, and
Jersey” Justin said.
Brooke, Justin and Shelby’s daughter and former Bedford County Dairy Princess, went into detail about
their daily routine as dairy farmers. “The day starts around 3:30 AM. During this time, we prepare the
cows and machines for milking, rotating about 12 at a time. This goes on until about 6:00 AM when we
get a short break for breakfast. From 8:30 to lunch time we feed the cows, clean pens, and complete any
other miscellaneous chores. We milk the cows again at 3:30 until about 6:00 PM as well. Every other day
the co-op comes to pick up about 1,800 gallons of milk.” Brooke also shared her future goals for the
farm including bottling and producing their own milk to sell at local businesses.
The dairy farming industry is not for the faint of heart though. “It’s hard to be positive sometimes” Justin
shared. “Our faith is what gets us through. There are so many variables, such as the weather and an
unstable market, that are fighting against you, but I just love what I do, and I love and trust in the Lord.”
Shelby added, “This farm has built our children into the people they are now. Between our son, Kalvan
working the fields and Brooke working with the cows, we love to see their faith and strong work ethic in
everything they do on and off the farm.”
There is no doubt that the Gochnours are dedicated to their work as dairy farmers. Organizations like
BCDA and SAP&DC help open doors for small businesses, just like Jus-Den Farm, to a variety of federal,
state, and regional programs, finding and connecting opportunities.
Pictured left to right: Kalvan Gochnour, Brooke Gochnour, Shelby Gochnour, and Justin Gochnour