Another Father's Day is upon us. A time to celebrate Dad, his hard work and sacrifices - all for the love of family. Father's Day happens to fall during National Dairy Month. Some of our 11,000 dairy farmer dads have journeyed into the autumn of their years. These dairy farming 'men of steel' continue to be pillars of strength to their families and on the farm. Their resilience and determination and passion for dairy farming can be seen well into their golden years, and it is respected and admired.
The grandfather: Sam F. Minor
Sam F. has spent his entire life in agriculture. His original family farm, in Greene County, traces back to the 1850’s. It wasn’t until 1972 that Sam bought the property and built SpringHouse Farm, where he and his bride of 57 years raised five children. Three years later, in 1975, Sam opened the retail store. As most farmers do, Sam wore many hats required of business owners. He also held lots of dairy positions in the industry including with the Holstein Association and on the Agway Board. The 81-year-old says working with the cows and taking care of the financial side of the dairy farm and retail business remain his favorites.
Now three generations of the Minor family currently work and live at the SpringHouse farm and store. “They have committed their lives to growing the farm and retail business and because of this, they are dependable, dedicated, and passionate,” said Sam of his family.
"You must believe in and be committed to the goals you have established. Set it up in your mind to where nothing will stop you from achieving goals. Keep a positive mindset." ~ Sam F. Minor
The son: Sam R. Minor
The only time in his 51 years that Sam R. remembers being away from agriculture is during college and a three-year stint working out-of-state. His passion on the farm is working with the equipment and cropping, but that doesn’t stop Sam from admiring his father’s business acumen. “During my dad’s management, we grew from 60 cows to 230 cows and milking three times a day, to now 130 cows and milking twice a day,” said Sam R. The Minors anticipate having 5,000 visitors touring the farm and restaurant this summer.
The grandson: Sam J. Minor
Being able to see his grandparents and other family daily is what 24-year-old Sam J. says he loves best about being part of a working farm family. At SpringHouse, his favorite jobs are tending to the chicken barbeque during the holidays and cutting the corn maze. His dairy industry area of expertise is genetics and reproduction counseling. “With the rough milk prices, I like digging through data and finding ways to improve farm efficiencies,” said Sam J. He is currently working with some of the largest and most progressive dairy operations in the country.
"Growing up on a farm is the best way to grow up. We need to keep family farms alive." ~ Sam J. Minor
American Dairy Association North East is one of 16 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association. It is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council®, which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. For more information, visit www.americandairy.com.