Kim pictured with sons, Ben & Chas

In the rolling hills of Southern Chester County lies a legacy that spans six generations—the story of Wilkinson Farms, our most recent lead sponsor of Kennett Brewfest & Kennett Winterfest. Meet Scott and Kim Wilkinson, the heart and soul behind this local agricultural stronghold, where dedication to the land and a passion for community intertwine seamlessly.

From the fields to your table, the fruits of Wilkinson Farms’ labor touch our lives in various ways. Whether it’s the chicken on your plate, the beer you sip, or Kennett’s favorite produce—mushrooms—chances are you’ve tasted produce and products that have been aided by their hard work. Farming isn’t just a job for the Wilkinsons; it’s a way of life—a round-the-clock, year-round venture fueled by a profound love for the land.

This family-run operation was incorporated back in the 1980s by Scott’s grandparents, Leon and Edna Wilkinson. Nestled in Landenberg, Pennsylvania, the farm became a dairy operation in the 1970s through the 1990s. Though the days of milking cows have passed, the essence of the farm remains unchanged—rooted in tradition yet adaptive to the evolving needs of the times.

The Interconnectedness of Agriculture & The Mushroom Connection

Charles, Leon, Scott, Chas & Ben Wilkinson

Today, Wilkinson Farm’s sprawling acres, totaling over 1,000 in Chester County alone, focus primarily on crops and baling. But their reach extends far beyond state lines, with 8,000 acres leased across Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware and an additional 30,000 acres dedicated to bale crops from eastern Pennsylvania and throughout the mid-Atlantic. These bales are a key contribution to the mushroom industry—a cornerstone of Southern Chester County’s identity. Scott’s daily deliveries of 20 truckloads of baled crops to mushroom farms exemplify the interconnectedness of agriculture in our region. As he often remarks, it’s a labor of love—one that fuels Kennett’s reputation as the Mushroom Capital of the World. “As soon as we’re done chatting, I’m hopping in the truck and delivering another load,” Scott shared cheerfully.

But Wilkinson Farms isn’t just about crops; it’s about honoring tradition. The iconic baler depicted in their logo serves as a poignant reminder of their roots. Yet, Scott and Kim are also forward-thinkers, recognizing the importance of diversification in agriculture. From corn and soybeans to wheat and barley, their crops sustain not only local appetites but also industries far and wide. Kim stated the startling statistic that “1.6% of the population feeds the entire world.” Their feed corn has nourished chickens you consume, the wheat enjoyed in your child’s animal crackers, and the barley integral to the beer you sip. The barley-beer connection drew them to become involved in Kennett Brewfest & Winterfest.

Community as One Big Family

As long-time Southern Chester County residents, Scott & Kim dedicate time, energy, and financial support to the local community. They love being a part of a small-town atmosphere and find meaning and delight in anything that “brings everyone together, such as the parades and Brewfest.” Wilkinson Farms was the lead sponsor of the 2023 Kennett Brewfest & 2024 Kennett Winterfest. “Stepping into Winterfest felt like “a big family reunion,” said Kim. “It truly was a community event!”

“We’re so grateful to our friends at Wilkinson Farms for their support of our community programming. At its core, Brewfest is about bringing friends and families together in Kennett, and the Wilkinsons exemplify that spirit. I was touched that during Brewfest, they wanted to make sure our team of volunteers was well cared for in addition to their guests at the festival!” – Daniel Embree, Executive Director of Kennett Collaborative

Modern Moves & Honoring Tradition

As the farm evolves, so too does the family legacy. Scott and Kim’s sons, carrying on the tradition, embody the spirit of past generations while embracing future innovations. From high school to the farm, the transition is seamless—a testament to the enduring allure of agriculture in their blood. And the transition is also evident in the Wilkinson’s ability to adjust and expand in accordance with varying needs and technology. One instance is the shift from milking dairy cattle to exporting future dairy cattle overseas to countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Egypt. “Cows love to cruise,” Scott chuckled.

President Reagan and John Block talk with farmers (c) Ronald Reagan Library

Reflecting on his family business’ heritage, Scott recalls with a smile the time the President of the United States visited Wilkinson and Sons Farms in 1982 to participate in a question and answer session with local farmers. Though the landscape may change, one thing remains constant: the Wilkinsons’ dedication to agriculture and community.

Give a Wave

In the end, Wilkinson Farms is more than just a business—it’s a testament to the enduring power of family, tradition, and good stewardship of the land. As Scott and Kim continue to sow the seeds of their legacy, their story serves as an inspiration to us all—a reminder of the profound impact that love, hard work, and a sense of belonging can have on our lives. The next time you pass a Wilkinson Farms truck on the road, give them a wave (and perhaps a wide path and a little patience) and remember the hands that feed us all.

Thank you to Scott, Kim and the Wilkinson Family for sharing your story and photos.