Dawn nolt knows her way around egg dishes the heart of the farm is the family lancasterfarming.com gas works park address

It’s a job that Nolt balances as a stay-at-home mom with a family of four children (ages 5 to 15). She has had no formal education as a chef, food stylist or photographer. And, she admits, she wasn’t even looking for a job in the first place, but loves the way it has turned out.

Nolt’s career got started almost by accident when her husband, Rodney Nolt, joined Westfield Egg Farm a decade ago after first working as a business consultant for his close friend and Westfield Egg owner, George Weaver III. The egg company has been in the Weaver family for almost 60 years.

Westfield Egg’s management knew — from first-hand experience — that Nolt was a great cook and a dedicated amateur photographer. They asked her if she would take on the responsibility and she has worn the multiple marketing hats for the past four years.

Dawn Nolt met her husband Rodney, who is currently CEO of Westfield Egg, in 2000 in Colorado at a Bible School held by their church. They were married in 2001 after a seven-month courtship that brought them together only five times before saying “I do.” Since then, the Nolts have lived in Colorado, Africa and Pennsylvania.

The pair, in 2003 — with their first child in tow — moved to Ghana, in West Africa, where they spent one year as part of the Charity Africa mission before ultimately settling in Lancaster County in 2005. Rodney Nolt is a Lancaster County native. The family lived in Ephrata for 10 years and recently moved to a cozy home on 2.3 acres in nearby Denver.

“Some recipes that we felt were not healthy and used too many processed ingredients were eliminated,” she said. “We made sure that fresh ingredients, many available right from farms and produce stands here in the county, were part of the completed recipes. … Also, we wanted them to be easy to make, tasty, eye-pleasing and, naturally, use the company’s organic Nature’s Yoke eggs.”

Nolt works closely with Helen Leibee, of New Holland, who handles social media for the company. Leibee posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and works closely with Nolt to coordinate posting a new recipe for special days or holidays to create a little social media buzz.

Growing up as a member of a conservative Mennonite community in Indiana, Nolt said that her mother, Virginia, was a wonderful cook. From her mother, she learned the basics early and has continued to perfect her craft while living in the United States and as a missionary in Africa. She said she creates meals to please family and friends, with familiar as well as not-so-familiar ingredients.

“All the recipes naturally contain eggs,” Nolt said. “If I get a thumb’s up from the family, I do some basic food styling so the dish has a nice presentation — but never enhanced to look fake — photograph it on my dining room table (sometimes before everyone gets a chance to really dig in) and upload it to Nature’s Yoke recipe pages on the company website.”

To date, Nolt has created, prepared, photographed and posted more than 260 recipes. She continues to find, tweak and test dishes from family recipes, research and suggestions. She makes her recipes family-friendly, simple and rarely uses any processed foods.

“I want the men or women who see and try these recipes not to be intimidated,” Nolt said, “so I work hard to be sure the recipe instructions are complete and understandable, and the photographs look exactly like the completed dish when made and set out for your family.”