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Importance of veteran support, food security highlighted during tour of Unity township farm – TribLIVE

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It isn’t every day that a hungry cow tosses its hay at an officer in the Pennsylvania National Guard.
It happened on Thursday, though, as Brig. Gen. Laura A. McHugh toured Pleasant Lane Farms in Unity.
The tour, hosted by Pennsvlvania Veteran Farming Network, highlighted the importance of food security and veteran support.
Todd Frye, who co-runs the farm, served in the Air Force and Army National Guard for 26 years before retiring in July 2021. Todd’s father Ralph Frye — who served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War— founded the farm with his wife, Ann, in 1976.
The farm regularly makes cheese and supplies milk to Turner Dairy Farms. It also gives tours to showcase its 107 cows, robotic milking machines and award-winning cheeses.
“It’s always good to host tours and give information,” Todd Frye said.
Thursday’s tour was filled with laughs and conversation as visitors learned about the intricacies of cow milking, ideal cow living conditions, cheese-making and more.
McHugh’s favorite part was meeting the farm’s baby cows.
McHugh said it is important not to “cut strings” with veterans like Todd Frye when they retire from the service. She said Todd Frye and his family continue to serve the country by farming.
“In my opinion, food security equals national security,” McHugh said. “While Todd was in uniform, he was providing whatever he could toward national security, and he’s still doing that as a farmer.”
Westmoreland County Veteran’s Affairs Director Matt Zamosky also attended the tour. Zamosky appreciated the generational aspect of the tour — both Todd and Ralph Frye served in the military and on the farm.
As of 2017, over 7,000 veterans in Pennsylvania were agricultural producers, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
“To be able to adapt to the world and grow is great to hear, especially locally,” Zamosky said.
Maddie Aiken is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Maddie by email at or via Twitter .
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