Mike and his wife, Terra, own and operate Spiral Path Farm in Perry County with support from their sons, Will and Lucas. Mike began farming in 1974 and moved to his current location in 1978. For 15 years, the Brownbacks operated a farrow-to-finish hog operation and grew hay and grain crops. After transitioning to organic and moving to vegetable production in 1992, Mike attended his first PASA conference and realized that Pennsylvania’s time had come for a new direction in food production.
Today, Spiral Path is a 255-acre, 2,200 member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm with distribution throughout south central Pennsylvania and into Maryland. They grow certified organic vegetables, herbs and annual fruits for distribution through the CSA, farmers markets and for wholesale to Wegmans Food Markets. Additionally, the farm used a grant award to install a solar panel system that now powers their entire operation.
Mike has hosted numerous PASA events and spoken at many field days and conference workshops. In honor of their son, Arias, the Brownbacks started a scholarship fund in 2001 which over the years has allowed hundreds of people to attend the Farming for the Future conference. Mike is passionate about soil fertility and increasing the nutrient density of food. He currently serves on PASA’s Program Committee. He was first elected to the PASA board in 2012.