Tiffany and Mack Kline signed the final papers to purchase their first farm in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Klines are dairy producers in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania.
Roots in agriculture
Tiffany started milking cows when she was just 12 years old on the farm that has been in her family since 1947. While she started with just a few chores, her parents slowly allowed her more responsibility on the farm, helping her to realize that farming was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Then, Tiffany met Mack, a fellow farm kid, and the rest is history.
They soon started to plan for their future together. “The past couple of years, we both spent a lot of time talking about what we wanted to do, how big we wanted to be and just making sure that dairy farming was what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives,” Tiffany said.
In November 2019, after many conversations and much planning, they moved forward with their dream to buy a farm of their own. They made their first appointment with Ashley Hicks, their loan officer at AgChoice Farm Credit, and began the process of purchasing a farm.
A giant curve ball
Everything was moving along as they had hoped, until early spring 2020 when COVID-19 appeared in the United States.
“We had everything lined up when the pandemic hit,” said Tiffany. “And then we got a phone call from Ashley and he said, ‘Um, I'm not quite sure what's going to happen.’”
But neither the Klines nor Ashley gave up. “It made it a little bit more complicated that we couldn't all be in one room together, but Ashley did a lot of work to help us make sure that it got done,” Tiffany said.
“Ashley is very helpful; he's there for us, a phone call away, at all times,” Mack said.
Given the constraints of social distancing to keep everyone safe in the face of the pandemic, Ashley got creative. As Tiffany and Mack pulled into the AgChoice parking lot to sign the closing papers for the farm, they were surprised to find Ashley standing next to his truck with all the papers laid out on the tailgate ready for signatures. “I thought, wow, this is a casual way to buy a farm. Just tailgating in the parking lot,” said Tiffany.
Looking to the future
As young and beginning farmers, Mack and Tiffany have a lot to look forward to, but what they’re most excited about is making the farm their own.
“On this farm, what excites us the most, is the fact that there's so much to be improved,” Mack said.
Tiffany agrees. “Coming into this, we had a lot of big dreams and big things that we wanted to do. So now that we're finally the owners here and we can do those things, we're excited to make the farm nicer and hopefully more efficient in a way that can help us to improve our future here,” she said.