WESTFIELD, Pa. (WETM) – A Northern Tier veteran, teacher, and lifelong farmer has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau for his dedication to agriculture.

Edward Heyler is 97-years-old and still runs his family beef farm in Westfield, Pa. Heyler was awarded the 2022 Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award at the Pa. Farm Bureau’s 72nd Annual Meeting on Nov. 14-16.

“It makes you get up in the morning,” Heyler said upon receiving the award. “There’s work that must be done. I’ve always said that farming is a little bit different than business. I can’t just decide to lock the door and say this is it. There are crops growing which need to be taken care of and there’s livestock that needs to be fed, so you go out and you do what you need to do.”

Heyler grew up on a century farm, the Farm Bureau said, and spent two years in the Air Force during WWII. When he returned, he then got his GED, went to Penn State, and started teaching while also working on the farm.

From 1950 to 1983, Heyler taught vocational agriculture at the Northern Tioga School District. The Farm Bureau said he’s been able to see the successful impact of his teaching in local community members even today.

In 1953, Heyler wanted his own farm, so he bought his beef cattle operation when it went up for sale. Today, Heyler and his son Marty run the farm. The farm has changed over the years, starting as an egg and turkey farm, then growing produce, and switching to a beef and cow-calf operation.

And Heyler shows no signs of slowing down. The Pa. Farm Bureau’s announcement said that at his August 2022 birthday party, Heyler left early to bale hay.

“It was a good place for me to let off steam,” Heyler said. “If I had a bad day at school I could come down and get on my tractor over on the hill and plow or do whatever needed to be done and I’d feel better.”