Monday, June 1, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 13: Dairy Farming

Elmer at the dairy farm, Deer Lake, Wisconsin

In 1953, twelve years after becoming president of H. B. Fuller Company, Elmer entered the dairy business. "One of my fellow Rotarians was both a practicing dentist in the Twin Cities and a farmer. I sought him out for counsel. 'What about owning a farm?' I asked. 'Is it a worthwhile venture?' He responded by raving about the joys of farming. It would add years to my life, he said. While on the farm, I would forget all my troubles. The children would love it. They would learn about life in a wonderful way. 'Elmer, it's the nicest way to lose money you could imagine,' he said."

"My advice to someone interested in owning a dairy farm today would be to make a job of it. Live there, be there all the time, establish standards, and see that they are followed, and a dairy farm can be a good business. But it is a demanding, 24-hour-a-day job. There is so much to attend to—calving, illness, accidents, a fence down, and animals on the loose, milking two or three times a day, 365 days a year. I gained great respect for a wholesome quart of milk."

Image courtesy H. B. Fuller Company


Erin said...

Tim - loving the online exhibit you have here! And fyi - you have dairy spelt wrong in a few places on this post :) opps!

Tim Johnson said...

Thanks Erin! I'm always getting my dairy and diary mixed up!