Greetings from Northwestern Pennsylvania, we are Joseph and Alethea Burkett of Old State Farms, a small family owned and operated maple farm situated on the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Emlenton, Pennsylvania. We are blessed with six wonderful children. Jude is our energetic 11 year old and is always ready to help his daddy at a moment’s notice. Cecilia (10) is our mother in training, as soon as any of the younger kids asks for help she takes it upon herself to tell them what to do. Magdalene who turned 9 this Christmas spends most of her time playing with her siblings and cooking in the kitchen with mom. Lawrence Joseph, born in April of 2008, basically spends his time trying to keep up with the older 3. Helena (2) is a tornado on two feet, my dad calls her “spark plug” because she has so much energy. Augustine Paul was born June 29th, 2012 and is on the verge of walking any day.
My wife and I are natives of Pennsylvania. Each of us had the opportunity to attended college in large cities, and though we enjoyed the experience, we knew we wanted to settle down and raise our family close to home. As we look back on our return to Pennsylvania it has proved a blessing because not only have we been able to start a business here, but also our parents have the joy of spending time with their grandchildren. The first time we made maple syrup was in a homemade stainless steel pan over an open fire. We never imagined we’d be selling our maple syrup to people all across the country. It started with 20 maple trees on my parent’s farm and has grown to 30 acres of hard maple trees, a full scale sugar house, over 10,000 gallons of storage space for the fresh sap and over 5 miles of plastic tubing.
Our desire from the outset has been to build a profitable business, employing ethical business practices, which affords us the means to provide for our family and give in whatever capacity we are able back to our local community.