Meet Your Neighbor: Farming, family and volunteering are a natural fit for Adam Paynter


Organic farming in rural Shelby or physical therapy in Bucyrus? A local resident born and raised in rural Crestline does both.

Meet your neighbor, Adam Paynter, a third generation farmer and physical therapist with Avita Health System.

Adam was taught the art of farming by his father, Dave Paynter. The Paynter Family Organic Farm in rural Crestline was certified organic in 1996 where they raise grain, organic-fed beef, cattle and poultry. The meat is sold at farmers markets in Crestline, Mansfield and Bucyrus.

When he graduated from Buckeye Central High School, an older neighbor gave him $100 to buy 100 chickens. Since returning home with his doctorate in physical therapy at Ohio Northern University, Adam has significantly expanded the poultry side of the business.

“This year, “I’ll have 700 broiler meat chickens that I’ll raise out on pasture and a few laying hens, as well as around 65 Thanksgiving turkeys,” he noted.

Adam said the chickens have found a new home in Shelby.

“They were always at my parents’ main farm. This year I was able to move them to our little homestead,” he said. “We’re pretty excited to have the chickens here in Shelby.”

A family affair

Adam is the fourth of five kids born to Dave and Kathy Paynter.

“Me, along with my four siblings, have all been an integral part of helping [Dad] out. We all just really enjoy being outside and on the farm,” Adam said.

The new dad shares business responsibilities with his wife, Amanda.

“Me and my wife do our marketing, and then I do all the advertising and the social media management,” said Adam.

They have recently welcomed their first child.

Adam Paynter and his wife, Amanda, each hold one of their egg layer chickens at Paynter Family Organic Farm in 2023. The couple recently moved their poultry stock to their home in Shelby.

His day job

After earning his bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Bowling Green State University and doctorate in physical therapy at Ohio Northern, Adam has worked at Avita Health System ever since as a physical therapist at the outpatient clinic in Bucyrus.

His patients are as diverse as the chickens he raises.

“I see a little bit of everything there − all patient ages besides pediatrics. All different conditions, all different diagnoses,” Adam shared.

His volunteer efforts

Adam lives about a mile inside the Richland County line, but he prefers to stay busy in both Crawford and Richland counties as a volunteer. He serves as a trustee and vice chairperson on the board of the Community Foundation for Crawford County.

“We’ve got a great team that works together and gets funds where they need to be,” Adam said.

He knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end. While a student at Bowling Green, he was awarded a Come Home Scholarship through the Community Foundation for Crawford County.

“That helped pull me back to the area,” Adam said.

He also serves the mission of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church and its school in Shelby.

“I help coach fourth through sixth grade boys basketball, so that takes up some time during the winter,” Adam, an alumnus of the school, explained.

As a parishioner, he volunteers on the Heart of Bethlehem Improvement Committee.

“I like to stay busy,” he noted.

Adam and Amanda Paynter stand in the cornfield at Paynter Family Organic Farm in Crestline. In addition to raising poultry, Adam's day job is as a physical therapist for Avita Health System at the outpatient clinic in Bucyrus.

A special trip on the Ohio to Erie Trail

When COVID started in 2020, a trip Adam had planned got canceled. Never one to rest easy, he decided to ride the Ohio to Erie Trail as a fundraiser for the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio.

Riders can take different bike routes and country roads from the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie in Cleveland. A strong athlete, Adam pedaled for five days with “just a bike, a tent and some gear.”

His family knows the blessings of many with Down syndrome.

“My little sister has Down syndrome. I also have a cousin and a nephew with Down syndrome,” Adam said “Down syndrome has had a great impact on our lives, and we see the abilities of all children and individuals with Down syndrome. I thought it was a great cause to raise money for. A lot of great people pitched in and supported that. It was pretty cool to see. It was a fun route.”

The comforts of home aren’t lost on Adam.

“I’ve really enjoyed growing up in the Crawford/Richland County-area, being surrounded by so many supportive people. Everybody here would do anything to help each other out. It’s definitely a draw to stay in this area and to start a family here. To just really help out other people and give back,” he added.

Source: Mansfield News Journal; Written by Joe Di Lullo