MULTIGENERATIONAL FAMILY BUSINESS- C.P Yeatman and Sons Farms
Heart to Heart

 

When I was just a child, my parents took me to a mushroom farm where barns housed button mushrooms by the thousands. I was so enthralled I thought it would be fun to grow my own someday. And that is exactly what Arthur P. Yeatman did nearly 100 years ago in Landenberg, Pennsylvania. His story stands today as a testament to his vision for multigenerational family business.

 

Instead of each generation starting off from scratch, look at how a family business can expand over the years when family members pull together instead of going their own way.

 

Taken from the C.P. Yeatman and Sons Farms website http://www.organicmushrooms.com/about.html.

 

alt

90 Years in Mushrooms: First and Second Generation In 1919 the farm was purchased by Arthur P. Yeatman as a dairy farm. In 1921 the first two mushroom houses were built, followed by three more in 1922 and 1923. In 1930 the dairy operation was discontinued, and four more mushroom houseswere built. The farm was operated as A.P. Yeatman & Sons (Clarence P., and Raymond who died in 1939). In 1949, C.P. bought another 77 acre farm with 3.5 mushroom houses and two dwellings.

 

Second and Third GenerationIn 1950 the dairy operation was started again by C.P.’s oldest son Artie. In 1958 sons Jim and Bob came into the business, and a new partnership, C.P. Yeatman & Sons was formed. C.P. and Jim operated the mushrooms, and Artie and Bob operated the dairy until 1962 when US Route 1 cut the farm nearly in half. As a result the dairy was sold, and 3 more mushroom houses were built. In 1966 C.P. retired and the farm operations were incorporated as C.P. Yeatman & Sons, Inc. In 1972 a Limited Partnership was created and all real estate was transferred to this entity.

 

Fourth Generation Starting in 1972 all family members, even those not involved in the operations, became limited partners in the land holding partnership. In 1993 the fourth generation, Tim Hihn (married to Jill, Bob’s daughter) and Jerry (Jim’s son) became shareholders and officers of C.P. Yeatman & Sons, Inc. There are several divisions of C.P. Yeatman & Sons and these include: Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms, Mother Earth Country Store, and Mother Earth, Marketing Division.