Life on a family dairy farm
in the wilds of
Upstate New York
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
They DID Build That
I have been trying to stay out of the political fray lately....at least on here. I have friends on both sides of the discussion and most of them know how I feel. They either agree or are never going to agree, so why alienate them?
However, I couldn't resist telling you this story. My in-laws were special people...at least in my opinion. They worked like few people today (myself included) could ever imagine working, running the dairy and growing feed by day, then working at several sidelines in the evening, plus growing a huge garden for themselves.
You see, seventy years ago they parted company from Grandpa Delbert's home farm, down where White used to be, and bought this little farm on the hillside. They had a few cows and work horses...no tractors for them yet.
They also had a mortgage. It had to be paid. They did not turn to the government for help and in fact never participated in any government programs until we took over in 2000.
Instead they raised strawberries and sold them. They raised baby pigs and sold them. They raised chickens and sold them. They raised turkeys and sold them. They smoked hams. My mother-in-law milked half the cows by hand because they didn't have enough milking machines. Grandpa plowed gardens for folks and worked out at any number of other things to whittle down that mortgage. They paid it off in two years.
At least in those days, before the government regulated whether or not you could have a soda bottle on your milk house window sill, laws were lenient enough that they could sell their products to the local grocery store. The storekeeper in turn sold them to the community.
As far as I know, nobody got sick from eating chickens raised on a farm and processed in a farm kitchen. Although I wasn't around, I hear the hams were very special and popular with local folks. Nobody got sick from them either.
Although both of them did go to school (grandma started in a one-room school at the age of three...she was one smart cookie) and use roads and all, they also paid taxes, a lot of them. Therefore, in essence, rather than the government being in any way responsible for the success of their small-business, they were in part responsible for the continued workings of the government, as are all taxpayers, then and now.
The bottom line is, I don't believe that the government can claim much credit for the hard work and knowledge that went into producing those chickens, berries, pigs and gardens, which in turn built this business that we are keeping going by the skin of our collective teeth.
The boss's folks DID build Northview Dairy Farm, pretty much all by themselves.
Today it would be impossible for us to pay off a mortgage the way they did. There is no market in town, and if there was it couldn't sell chickens we raised....against the law you know.
We sure couldn't market home cured ham without spending a fortune on facilities and inspections mandated by the government. Rather than being much of a help to small enterprise government is a major hindrance.