Bob Burchett found his life's work when his father bought a farm in Airville
"It gets in your blood," said Burchett, 64. "(Farming) isn't like a job. It's kind of like a hobby to me."
He said he's honored that he and his wife, Judy, have been named recipients of the 2012 Outstanding Farm Family Award by the York County Agricultural Business Council.
The Burchetts, who own Maple Spring Farms, will receive their award during the council's 26th annual banquet at 5:45 p.m. Thursday at the Old Main Hall of the York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Ave. in West Manchester Township. About 350 people attend the event annually, said Michele Glover, the council's assistant executive.
The council also will give the Outstanding Ag Industry Award to the York County Agricultural Land Preservation Board and the Tony Dobrosky Future Leaders Award to Kate Livingston, a 2010 Dover High School graduate who is a sophomore at Penn State University.
Farm's history: Glover said the Burchetts, who have four adult children, are receiving the Outstanding Farm Family Award because they have demonstrated excellence in farming and for demonstrating the impor-
tance of passing on farming from one generation to the next, she said.
"Farming is not easy, and we just want to recognize the farms that bring the next generation into the farming operation," Grove said. "So often when we don't have the next generation coming on, the farm can be sold and the land could be used for development."
Bob's parents, Desota and Evelyn Burchett bought their first farm, 120 acres, in 1948. After his graduation from Red Lion High School, Bob Burchett and his father purchased a neighbor's 265-acre farm and built a milking parlor there. They milked about 120 cows.
Bob and Judy Burchett married in 1968. The dairy farm was sold 20 years later.
Today, they do grain farming with their son, Tom Burchett, 38. Their 2,900-acre farm includes corn, wheat, barley and double-crop soybeans.
Bob Burchett said he was surprised to learn that his family would be honored for their work.
"I try to be a good steward of the land," he said. "I enjoy being out in the fields and working with cattle."
The longtime farmer said he is glad his son is farming with him and will one day completely take it over.
"I hope he keeps learning the trade," Bob Burchett said. "Hopefully, maybe one of his sons would want to take over behind him. That's what I would like to see."
The York County Agricultural Business Council's 26th annual banquet is at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at the Old Main Hall of the York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Ave. in West Manchester Township.
For information, call 246-3578.
--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at 505-5438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.