For more than a century, the Masonic Village has successfully combined a 1,400-acre crop and livestock operation with a continuing care retirement community. Owned and operated by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, near Elizabethtown, PA, the Masonic Village residents enjoy the beauty of an environmentally sound farming operation that grazes 150 cow-calf pairs each year.

With nearly 300 acres dedicated to intensive grazing, Masonic Village Farm runs a predominantly purebred Shorthorn cowherd. The operation depends on the partnerships of various federal and state agencies, as well as private agriculture organizations, to effectively manage natural resources and succeed in its responsible land-management goals.

Understanding that the water that runs through their pastures eventually flows to the Chesapeake Bay, Masonic Lodge has pioneered protecting and improving water quality by:

• Installing concrete, stabilized creek crossings to prevent erosion.

• Improving water quality and enhancing wildlife habitat by removing a century’s worth of sediment.

• Fencing off streams from livestock.

• Developing livestock-watering systems.

The operation utilizes a rotational grazing system to maintain pastures, uses manure from feedlots as fertilizer, and the residents maintain a produce garden. Additionally, Masonic Village Farm invites the public to tour the facilities and learn more about the possibilities of agriculture stewardship, as well as purchase product grown at the village.