After growing up in Berks County, PA and working in residential construction and landscaping, Brooks graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering. He worked briefly in the aerospace industry, but soon longed for a return to the outdoors and working with his hands. Unsure of his future as an engineer, he traveled through Europe and then backpacked and volunteered via World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) in Mexico, confirming a love for farming.
Upon his return to the United States, he and his wife Anna began farming together in Hershey while Brooks worked at Troegs Brewing Company as a brewer and automation engineer. In 2007, they moved to Perry County, where they now live, and started North Mountain Pastures, a meat-focused Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operation, selling pastured poultry and grass-fed beef. Grass-fed lamb and pastured pork were soon added to the menu, and since has become the central focus of the farm.
In 2011, Brooks and Anna bought 84 acres a mile away from where they were farming and have been developing infrastructure for their diversified livestock and butchering operations ever since. Their CSA is at capacity with 300 members in central PA and Washington DC.
Brooks has served as a founding member of the advisory council for the Leadership Education and Farming Project (LEAF) Project, and on the PASA Education Advisory Committee. Brooks is HACCP certified and has over two years’ experience working as food safety coordinator for a small slaughter shop in Perry County. He has also been a speaker at field days, conference workshops, and host for PASA events.